Reading FC boss Paul Ince has revealed that the Royals were close to landing the signature of West Bromwich Albion defender Cedric Kipre this summer – only to be pipped by Championship rivals Cardiff City.
The France-born Ivorian found himself on the fringes of the Albion squad this summer, having not played a single minute of action last season following Steve Bruce’s appointment in February.
Kipre had a number of suitors, but ultimately it was the Bluebirds who won the race for the 25-year-old’s signature, signing him on a season-long loan deal.
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His competitive debut was a successful one, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over promotion favourites Norwich City.
This weekend, he will come up against Reading at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, and now it has been claimed by Ince that his side were very much in the running to sign Kipre, and that the Berkshire outfit truly believed that the central defender was arriving.
However, it appears that financially, Reading could not compete due to their transfer restrictions imposed by the EFL, leaving him easy pickings for Steve Morison.
“We looked at Kipre from West Brom and we thought we were close to getting him,” Ince said, per the Reading Chronicle.
“When you’re trying to do deals with clubs, they’ve got you over a barrel.
“I spent a lot of time with him and his agent but financially we couldn’t compete, then you see him swanning off to Cardiff and it leaves a horrible taste in your mouth as you do all the work, the player wants to come but we’re governed by what West Brom ask the clubs to pay.”
Reading are probably going to have a few hard luck stories when it comes to transfers due to what they can and cannot do.
And in Kipre they could have had a defender who has Championship experience but someone who perhaps hasn’t reached their full potential having not featured much in two years for the Baggies.
It does look like though that they have just as good a centre-back arriving at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, with ex-Huddersfield Town man Naby Sarr on the verge of signing – EFL approval is needed though.
Losing out on Kipre probably won’t be a big deal in the grand scheme of things for Reading, but it just shows what they are up against with the restrictions they are under.