Reading’s hopes of signing USA international Aaron Long could be severely hampered as Premier League champions Liverpool are now interested in signing him, according to ESPN.
The Reds have a serious centre-back crisis on their hands, with Virgil Van Dijk out for the majority of the season with a knee injury, with the same going for Joe Gomez.
Joel Matip also suffered another injury against Tottenham last night and stand-in centre-half Fabinho also missed out on that game, meaning things are getting very desperate at Anfield.
Earlier reports in the window suggested that Jurgen Klopp would stick with what he’s got, but the situation has now become that desperate that alternatives are to be sought.
And they’ve now been touted with making a surprise move for 28-year-old Long, who plays for New York Red Bulls in the MLS and has racked up 18 caps for the USA.
Championship side Reading were linked with Long a few days ago by Sky Sports, with the Red Bulls willing to let him get match fitness elsewhere due to the new MLS season not starting until April.
Royals manager Veljko Paunovic will know all about him due to his time managing Chicago Fire, but if Liverpool do indeed come calling then it looks like it will be a no-brainer of a decision.
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Of course Klopp may end up sticking with what he’s got, which is now captain Jordan Henderson playing out of position and younger players in Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams – neither of whom have looked very convincing in the league.
Reading fans will be hoping that the German will put his faith in the younger players he has as that gives them a better chance of securing Long’s signature for the rest of the season.
With Liam Moore suffering another injury, Reading probably do need to bring in a defender in the next few days, even though Michael Morrison and Tom McIntyre are doing just fine right now.
Long would bring a lot of experience with 105 MLS appearances and being a capped international, but Royals fans will be fearing the worst now Liverpool are seemingly involved.
If it’s true, it looks like an owner-led stop-gap solution considering the Reds’ money-man John W. Henry is from America, and if it’s between Reading or Liverpool for Long, it seems pretty obvious who he’s going to choose.