Reading FC could be forced to sell Lucas Joao this summer as their financial situation remains a precarious one, with Football League World understanding that Middlesbrough, Burnley and Nottingham Forest headline a five-team list of interested clubs.
Joao has been with the Royals since 2019 and has made 83 appearances for the club in that time, scoring 38 goals at an impressive ratio.
Injuries have impacted the 28-year-old, though, and he managed to feature only 24 times in the season just gone as Reading fell into a relegation fight following a point deduction.
Despite that, Joao continued to showcase his goalscoring instincts with 10 goals.
However, Reading’s chances of retaining Joao, who is entering the final year of his contract, feel slim, as their financial situation and lingering rebuild under Paul Ince could force them into a summer sale.
Football League World understands that if a suitable bid is placed, Reading may be forced to sell. The chances of that materialising are high as well, given the plethora of clubs interested in a deal.
Nottingham Forest, who won promotion to the Premier League on Sunday, are one club keen, whilst Norwich City, Watford and Burnley – all relegated from the top-flight last season – are others that sources believe are keeping tabs on the situation.
There’s also Middlesbrough, who will be looking to recruit Chris Wilder at least one striker this summer, who have been described as “very keen” on Joao.