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Leeds lurking, Carroll contract extension? Rahman replacement? – The latest Reading FC transfer talking points

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Championship side Reading will be hoping to retain some of their key assets in the January transfer window and add a couple of reinforcements whilst they’re at it.

Their injury crisis this season may have exaggerated the lack of depth they have in some areas, but nonetheless, it’s clear they need a couple of additions to ensure they can secure a comfortable finish this term.

Many would argue they already have many top-quality players including Scott Dann, Danny Drinkwater, Andy Yiadom and John Swift that can already guide them there, but with injuries, Covid and suspensions continuing to come into play, it’s probably better to be safe than sorry and recruit some fresh faces if the EFL sanction them.

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But with their current financial situation and the club needing to drastically reduce their wage bill in the summer as part of a business plan agreed with the EFL, some of the club’s highest earners could be offloaded when the next calendar year comes around to start working towards the governing bodies’ target and perhaps bring in a couple of replacements.

Considering the need to reduce their wage bill but also needing arrivals to come through the door, it’s difficult to predict what will happen in Berkshire during the winter window, but it will certainly be a fascinating one for the neutral, albeit a potentially stressful one for Royals fans.

Ahead of the upcoming window, we have taken a look at three key transfer talking points concerning the second-tier side.

Swift a Bielsa favourite

During his Leeds United Q&A for The Athletic on Saturday, journalist Phil Hay reiterated Marcelo Bielsa’s admiration for the Royals’ key midfielder Swift who is out of contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium next summer.

He said: “Bielsa has liked Swift for a while.

“It’s a difficult question because deep down you question whether Swift improves Leeds long term, but they’re not going to be able to spend big next month, and maybe some pragmatism is a good idea.”

As per the Sheffield Star, Leeds United are one of several clubs currently keeping tabs on the 26-year-old, who has scored eight goals and recorded nine assists in just 20 Championship appearances so far this term.

Spending much of last season ruled out with injury woes, he has come back firing during 2021/22 and with this, has been monitored by Burnley, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Brentford according to Football League World sources.

Whether Leeds come in with a formal offer remains to be seen, but they could potentially recruit the ex-Chelsea man for free in the summer, with the Royals unlikely to let go of one of their most treasured assets in January whilst they’re still fighting to move away from the relegation zone.

Worth giving Andy Carroll a contract extension?

As per David Ornstein’s column in The Athletic, ex-England international Carroll is currently earning just £1,000 per week in Berkshire after signing a short-term contract with the club earlier this month.

His deal at the club is due to expire in mid-January, but manager Veljko Paunovic has recently expressed his desire to offer the 32-year-old a longer-term deal with Yakou Meite likely to be out for the foreseeable future and George Puscas failing to score a single league goal in 20 games this season.

He scored his first goal for the club last weekend, controlling the ball expertly before firing past Ben Hamer in the Swansea City goal and helping to secure a vital three points for his current side.

It remains to be seen whether he can keep fit, but if he can keep scoring, it might be worth the Royals tying him down for the remainder of the season in the next couple of weeks to avoid the risk of losing him during the winter window.

And if he is prepared to continue accepting his current wage, it may even be wise to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible, providing the EFL approve a longer-term stay.

Left-back on the agenda?

Although there are a few areas the second-tier side would ideally want to address in the January window, especially if Carroll fails to renew his deal at the club, the left-back area is one the recruitment team are likely to be looking at.

Youngsters Ethan Bristow and Imari Samuels can fill in for the Chelsea loanee if he suffers an injury, along with Tom McIntyre if needed, but a senior, orthodox option in this position would be ideal to provide competition and much-needed cover.

A long-term injury to Rahman could upset the balance of the Berkshire outfit’s defence without a ready-made replacement, the last thing they need as they try to steer themselves away from the bottom three.

Recruiting three loanees in the summer window, they have space for one or two more temporary additions so this is a market they could explore when January comes around.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Leeds lurking, Carroll contract extension? Rahman replacement? – The latest Reading FC transfer talking points

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