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One winner and one loser at Reading FC if they secure transfer for ex-Premier League player

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Championship outfit Reading are weighing up a move for Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin, according to Football Insider.

The 32-year-old has been released on the expiration of his contract at Loftus Road and with that, the Royals are able to directly engage in negotiations with the former Southampton striker regarding a potential move to the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

However, it’s currently unclear whether they will be able to meet his wage demands with Paul Ince’s side working within an EFL business plan this summer and throughout the 2022/23 campaign. This plan means they will need to work within a tight budget and that will be difficult considering how many players they need to recruit in the coming months.

Can you remember how much Reading FC paid for these 22 summer signings?

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George Puscas? [Source: The Sun]

In a good bit of news for them though, Austin lives in the local area and is thought to be open to a move to the second-tier side despite being released by the Royals earlier on in his career.

Scoring seven goals in 38 competitive appearances last term, that isn’t the sort of record that can make the 32-year-old an adequate replacement for someone like Lucas Joao – but his experience could be valuable to the cause in the Berkshire outfit’s quest to remain afloat in the division once again.

Not everyone will be winners from this potential deal though and with that in mind, we take a look at one winner and one loser at the club if an agreement for the forward materialises.

Winner: George Puscas

Although he still has two years left on his contract, Puscas ideally needs to go this summer for his own sake as much as anyone else’s because his move to the club hasn’t worked out.

The 26-year-old doesn’t shine when playing on his own up front and with Ince unlikely to switch to a front two, he would be more of a success if he moved on and his successful loan spell at Pisa during the second half of last season is proof of that.

Austin’s potential arrival, with Lucas Joao and Jahmari Clarke available as options if the latter puts pen to paper on a new deal, could persuade the second-tier side to sanction another move away for the Romanian who could boost his chances of remaining in his national side’s squad by proving himself elsewhere.

Nahum Melvin-Lambert has also been offered fresh terms, providing the manager with another option if he deems the 19-year-old ready to be in the first team.

In fairness, Ince may not have any choice but to include the teenager in his first-team squad considering the current lack of players he has at his disposal.

Loser: Jahmari Clarke

As mentioned, 18-year-old Clarke is yet to sign a contract and could depart the Select Car Leasing Stadium this summer but if he does sign on the dotted line, he’s likely to be pushed down the pecking order by a more experienced Austin.

That’s a real shame for the teenager – because he shone when given a full half to impress as he scored a brace against Birmingham City in November to steal all three points for the Royals.

Making 12 league appearances last term, he has a real chance of being even more involved next season with the club’s business plan likely to restrict the amount of depth they can add to their squad in the coming months.

But with Ince likely to play just one up top, with Joao starting and Austin potentially on the bench, that could keep Clarke out of the matchday squad altogether for much of the 2022/23 campaign.

After managing to make his breakthrough last term, the Jamaican will be keen to remain with the first-team squad and not have to go back to playing Under-23s football regularly.

This move for the QPR forward could be detrimental to his hopes if both Joao and Austin remain reasonably injury-free throughout next season. With the former’s injury record though, that may be unlikely.


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: One winner and one loser at Reading FC if they secure transfer for ex-Premier League player

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