Reading will not be able to operate as they have in previous years in the coming transfer windows.
The process is already underway and we have seen the Royals use the free agent market very efficiently to strengthen their squad this season with the likes of Scott Dann, Andy Carroll and Junior Hoilett arriving at the club.
The latter bagged a brace in Reading’s 2-2 draw with Derby County on Monday, with the first a wonderful looping effort reminiscent of the 31-year-old’s pomp at Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City.
Reading do not want to be making things more difficult than they need to be in assembling a squad to compete in the second tier over the next couple of seasons.
Therefore, they should be looking to tie down some of their more senior players to longer contracts to keep them on board beyond the end of the season.
One of those players is Hoilett, and the club should take the opportunity, while he is on a high from the brace versus Derby, to begin negotiations of extending his contract until the end of next term.
The Canada international has proven time and time again that he is an effective attacker at Championship level and his presence should have a positive influence on the likes of Femi Azeez and Jahmari Clarke in making their initial steps into senior football.
Fitness may be a concern, Hoilett missed ten league games between mid October and mid December which does pose questions about his longevity at the club due to his age. However, recent seasons have suggested, particularly in his time at Cardiff, that Hoilett is able to dig in for the long haul over the course of a season and he will be hoping to demonstrate exactly that in the coming months at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC signed these 20 strikers from?
There is a lot of uncertainty at Reading at the moment beyond the end of the campaign, what division they will be playing in, which players will depart and what impact that will have on the squad.
To make that situation easier to approach, the Royals should be looking to extend some players’ contracts before that time to smoothen the process. Hoilett’s track record and value to Veljko Paunovic’s squad should put him towards the top end of that list of players, who will start having conversations about their futures at the club this month.