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Reading FC latest news: Sheffield United’s Swift stance, Rahman details requirement, Paunovic sends Clarke message, Puscas exit links

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Reading will be desperate to continue building on their current momentum after the international break after securing what could prove to be a crucial 2-1 away victory at Birmingham City last weekend.

This much-needed win came after losing four consecutive league matches, something that was a real concern to Royals fans that are aware of the potential nine-point deduction coming down the tracks after breaching the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules.

They initially went behind at St Andrew’s early on when Liam Moore’s poor back-pass allowed Scott Hogan to put the home side 1-0 up. However, a second-half brace from 18-year-old Jahmari Clarke allowed the Royals to take three precious points back to Berkshire and that has given them the platform to kick on after the international break.

Quiz: 28 questions about some of Reading’s most expensive ever signings – Can you score 100% on this?

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Sam Baldock made how many appearances for Reading?

Amid a major injury crisis, Veljko Paunovic’s side will be hoping to welcome back some of their first-teamers after this interval, with 29 games still to play and plenty of points up for grabs as they look to stay afloat in the Championship and secure a respectable finish.

Whether they can do this remains to be seen, but there are plenty of news stories concerning the Royals from the last few days to delve in to and we have selected four items of interest.

Sheffield United set to admit defeat in Swift race

Soccer Football – Championship – Reading v Peterborough United – Madejski Stadium, Reading, Britain – September 14, 2021 Reading’s John Swift celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Matthew Childs

Midfielder John Swift has been the subject of interest from several Premier League sides in recent months – not surprising considering he already has 15 goal contributions to his name in 17 league appearances this term.

His contract at the Select Car Leasing Stadium is also running out next summer, with Burnley, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers four top-flight teams that Football League World believes are currently interested in pursuing the 26-year-old’s signature.

The Sheffield Star are also reporting that Leeds United are in the running, but one team that are set to pull out of the race is Sheffield United, who monitored the midfielder during and after Chris Wilder’s time in charge at Bramall Lane but are now preparing to admit they won’t be able to attract the Reading midfielder to South Yorkshire due to their current position in the second tier.

Although the Blades’ interest has waned, he is still likely to attract intense interest when January comes around and it would be hard to see him extending his stay in Berkshire at this stage.

Rahman’s demand

Soccer Football – Championship – Reading v Peterborough United – Madejski Stadium, Reading, Britain – September 14, 2021 Reading’s Baba Rahman in action with Peterborough United’s Joe Ward Action Images/Matthew Childs

Full-back Baba Rahman has highlighted the need for consistency as key to the Royals’ success this term, after seeing many sides in the second tier fail to build on positive results this term.

Last month, the Ghanaian’s side had a real chance to climb into the top six with a midweek win against Blackpool, something they were 45 minutes away from doing before a second-half collapse against Neil Critchley’s men.

Four consecutive defeats left them in a precarious position going into last Saturday’s tie against Birmingham – and would have been in 18th or 19th position currently had they lost in the West Midlands.

And the fact there are only seven points between sixth and 19th in the Championship table just goes to show how Paunovic’s men could break into the top six with a few positive results after the break.

Delivering his verdict on this requirement and the second-tier side’s season so far, the 27-year-old said to Berkshire Live: “As a team we’ve had some ups and downs but I am loving my stay here. Things can change quickly – I was expecting that in the Championship before I arrived.

“You see teams up there and then they lose a few games they are in mid table or near the bottom. In the Championship you can’t give up points. We just have to keep the consistency.”

Paunovic issues caution on Clarke

Soccer Football – Championship – Fulham v Reading – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – September 18, 2021 Reading manager Veljko Paunovic Action Images/John Sibley EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Reading manager Paunovic spoke to the club’s media team earlier this week to bring fans and Saturday’s goalscorer Clarke back down to earth, saying the teenager still has a long way to go yet in his development.

The 18-year-old came on at half-time for George Puscas, with the Romanian international struggling in front of goal this season and failing to get on the scoresheet in any of his 17 league appearances.

With two key goalscorers in Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite on the sidelines, Puscas’ lack of potency in front of goal has been a real problem for the club who have suffered recently because of their injuries and previous inability to get on the scoresheet.

Clarke’s brace at the weekend has increased calls for him to start ahead of the 25-year-old after the international break – but his boss wants to see the former keep his feet on the ground.

The Serbian said: “He (Clarke) has a long way to go. We have to shape him, guide him – and with the maturity and with the experience and with what he can bring to the table, all those things will fall in line and then you’re going to have a player.

“But he still needs time. And he needs to work.

“So let’s give the kid a well done and let him enjoy his goals and appreciate that moment.

“But let’s also encourage him to keep his feet on the ground and for everyone to give him the support he needs in his environment.”

Puscas linked with CFR Cluj

Soccer Football – Championship – Derby County v Reading – Pride Park, Derby, Britain – September 29, 2021 Reading’s George Puscas in action with Derby County’s Richard Stearman Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY

CFR Cluj are interested in a move for Reading forward Puscas, according to Sport.ro.

As per the same report, the Royals would only demand 3m for his services after seeing him fail to make a real impact at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, also reporting that manager Paunovic wants a new striker during the January transfer window.

A loan deal could also be on the cards in a bid to get him off the wage books in Berkshire, although the Championship side may prefer to offload the Romanian permanently at this stage to generate as much money as they possibly can from his potential sale.

His contract doesn’t expire until 2024, a blessing but potentially a curse for the club.

They may be able to maximise his price tag because of this – but for a club that need to manage their wage bill effectively after breaching financial rules – having the forward on a long-term deal could be a source of frustration if they are unable to get him back into form or offload him to another club.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Reading FC latest news: Sheffield United’s Swift stance, Rahman details requirement, Paunovic sends Clarke message, Puscas exit links

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