Reading are on the cusp of a dilemma in deciding whether or not to hold onto John Swift in the January transfer window.
We brought you the exclusive last week that the Royals’ financial troubles could see Swift leave the club with Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace showing interest.
The 26-year-old is playing in his sixth season at the Select Car Leasing Stadium and with the off the pitch rumblings, the Royals may have to cash in after the turn of the year.
The interest from Premier League clubs is mainly due to Swift’s incredible form at the start of this season.
After a couple of injury hit campaigns the Chelsea youth product is making up for lost time this term and will hope to have Reading well placed in the Championship by the time a decision needs to be made.
Seven goals and five assists, including a memorable hat-trick, have demonstrated that Swift is beginning to outgrow the English second tier and his attacking potency dragged the Royals out of an early season rut under Veljko Paunovic.
The 26-year-old is a very attractive type of player to bring in for a top-flight club, comfortable on the ball and able to play in a double pivot, as a box-to-box midfielder, a number eight and or a ten.
With the experience he has gained at Reading in the last few years he is more than ready for the step up, but how should the club deal with the situation?
Swift’s contract is up in the summer, it is very unlikely he will sign a new one nor will the club be able to offer him improved terms.
The dilemma is whether to take a small fee and get him off the wage bill in January or to wait until the end of the season with a pending points deduction set to change the outlook of Reading’s season.
If Reading are involved in a relegation battle come January then this situation becomes more serious, as the hierarchy will be choosing whether or not to damage their chances of staying up to bring in a transfer fee that does not reflect Swift’s true value.
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If it gets to that point and the Royals are less than five points above the relegation zone then they should try to keep Swift until the end of the season but if they are sitting in mid table, offloading him to balance the books would be advisable.