Having played out in Mexico and Colombia during his career, the current Deportivo Pasto player could be set to move to England for the first time if the Championship side decide to make a move.
With Reading in grave danger of being sanctioned after losing over £90m in the last three years, according to the club’s financial accounts, they will be limited in the business they can do.
However, Mena is available for nothing this summer on the expiry of his contract and could be a cheaper option to pursue as they look to strengthen their central midfield and wingers department.
Former loanee Tomas Esteves returned to Porto after the Royals’ final game of the season against Huddersfield Town and with little prospect of the teenager returning, the club are on the prowl for a player to compete with current first-choice right back Andy Yiadom.
Who will benefit from this potential signing? And who might the signing be made at the expense of? Let’s take a look.
Winner: Andy Yiadom
Although Yiadom was injured for much of last season before regaining his fitness in the latter stages, the former Barnsley captain has been consistently fit since his arrival in 2018 and needs competition to push him on.
In his first two seasons at the club, he had Welsh international Chris Gunter keeping him on his toes – but the 31-year-old’s departure left a space in that area – and young full back Esteves struggled to adapt to the Championship at first, with Felipe Araruna picking up a season-ending injury at Cardiff City in the third game of the 2020/21 campaign.
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic can’t rely on Araruna, who usually plays in midfield, to challenge Yiadom with the Brazilian on the sidelines for much of his time at the Madejski Stadium.
If competition for Yiadom can push him on and raise his performance levels, it will either earn him a new contract or a free transfer to another club, with the Ghanaian’s deal running out next summer.
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Loser: Tom Holmes
Tom Holmes was a surprising beneficiaries of the injuries suffered at right back – and after impressing against Watford in this unorthodox position for the 21-year-old – he became a regular in the position.
Although the academy graduate has been moved to his more natural position at centre half, Michael Morrison and Liam Moore look set to be the partnership at the heart of defence, leaving Holmes on the bench despite some impressive performances.
Because Paunovic knows he can fill in at right back and do an adequate job there, Holmes’ chances of playing regular football would be boosted if the club don’t make a signing in that position and focus on other areas instead.
However, Holmes may only get a good opportunity if one of Moore or Morrison sustain a serious injury or suffer a bad run of form. The latter is unlikely to happen though, with the two experienced leaders showing their consistency last season.