Reading have approached former Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll regarding a potential move to the Select Car Leasing Stadium, as reported by Football Insider.
He made 43 competitive appearances in two seasons for the Premier League side during his second spell on Tyneside, scoring just once and recording four assists.
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The striker would be joining a Reading side who are currently struggling up top without Lucas Joao, who is expected to be absent for the Royals until January.
Sam Baldock’s departure in the summer and Nahum Melvin-Lambert’s loan move to St Patrick’s Athletic have deepened the Berkshire side’s woes up top, with Joao’s injury showcasing how little depth they have behind George Puscas.
17-year-old academy player Jahmari Clarke has even been promoted to the bench and appeared already for Veljko Paunovic’s men in the Championship – and they will be desperate to add to their attack after missing out on Adolfo Gaich – who has opted to join Spanish second-tier side SD Huesca.
He would arrive as the Royals’ seventh signing of the window, joining Tom Dele-Bashiru, Baba Rahman, Danny Drinkwater (all loans), Junior Hoilett, Alen Halilovic and Scott Dann at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, although journalist Courtney Friday is reporting that they may need to get one out of the door before bringing Carroll in.
How good this signing would be for Reading would depend on how long he can stay fit – and whether he can maintain his performance levels throughout the season.
At 32, Carroll is still reasonably young and would give the Berkshire side the daunting presence up top they have needed since Lucas Joao’s injury. But they need him to remain fit considering the lack of depth they have up top and the club’s poor injury record in general.
Goalscoring threat is needed up top – and if many Reading fans had the choice of signing Carroll or going without a forward for the next few months – then they would probably take a chance on the former Newcastle and Liverpool man after seeing George Puscas struggle on his own.
The latest news from Courtney Friday regarding the need to move a player out first will be a concern considering the little time there is left before the transfer window closes – but they would be able to secure a deal for Carroll at any time considering the fact he’s a free agent.
This is the one potential benefit of this deal and it could be worth the risk if he can bring him in on a reasonable wage, something the Royals could be forced to do with the EFL continuing to keep a close eye on their transfer business amid the club’s embargo.