Reading captain Liam Moore has revealed that he almost left the Royals in the summer after Mark Bowen told him he wasn’t wanted.
The centre-back arrived at the Madejski Stadium in 2016 from Leicester for a fee of £1.5 million and was named the permanent captain of the club before the start of the 2019/20 campaign.
He was linked with a move to several Premier League sides back in October following the closing of the first transfer window of the season, with the likes of Newcastle United and West Ham amongst others tracking him after a good start to the season, per TEAMtalk.
But just a few months prior he could have been heading out of the exit door if it was up to previous manager Bowen.
Bowen was replaced at the helm by Veljko Paunovic back in August and at the end of last season, he had dropped Moore from the starting line-up as a regular.
Before he ended up departing, Bowen handed the captain’s armband to Michael Morrison over Moore in pre-season, and now the 28-year-old has revealed that he looked to be heading out of the exit door through the insistence of others at the club until a change of manager occurred.
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“There was a conversation had between me and the previous manager [Bowen] and my time looked like it was up at the club for reasons that were said, financially or whatever it was,” Moore told BBC Radio Berkshire, per BerkshireLive.
“In my head, I thought that was excuses. I didn’t have a good end to the season but it is what it is.
“I’ve got a great amount of respect for the previous manager, we finished on great terms and he was just very honest to me [he said] I’m going to make a change in the captaincy because I don’t think you’ll be here in two or four weeks time.
“That was coming from above him, he said, but when the new manager came in, it was a level playing field.”
Moore went on to say that he was told his Reading career was ‘over’ before Paunovic was appointed, which indicates that the club would have more-than-likely sold him if Bowen has stayed as manager.
It’s probably a good job that a new manager was installed at the Royals, as letting Moore go would’ve been an absolute travesty.
He’s one of the top defenders in the Championship and it seems very strange that Bowen would actively want to get rid of him.
Moore probably didn’t have his greatest individual season in 2019/20, but he’s still a top player, and if not for a metatarsal fracture he would’ve been an ever-present in Paunovic’s system this season.
The Serb also re-installed Moore as club captain upon his arrival, which was a big show of faith in the defender and that trust may keep him around for a little while longer.