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Reading set to wait as striker target in talks over new Southampton deal



Reading have identified Shane Long as a potential target for them this summer – but they may miss out on the striker during the transfer window, with Southampton now in talks over a new deal for him.

Hampshire Live has reported that, as part of the side’s retained list, they have decided to try and sort out fresh terms for the forward. It was unclear whether or not the player would end up released this summer or if he would stay on with the Saints.

Now, it looks as though the Premier League side still have plans for Long, as they hold talks over a fresh contract.

Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC sold these 23 players to from the last decade?

1 of 23

Michael Olise?

It will be bad news for Reading, who had identified the player as a potential incoming. The 35-year-old managed only three starts for his current club in the Premier League last season and had 13 league outings in total, with one goal.

He has fallen down the pecking order with Southampton and last played in more than 20 games back in the 2019/20 season. It therefore looked as if he might be allowed to leave when the season came to a close.

However, the Saints are now ready to offer him fresh terms – and Reading might have to start looking to other striker targets if he signs a new contract with the Premier League side.

Last time he was in the Championship and managed a double digit amount of starts was over a decade ago and resulted in 21 goals for the 35-year-old. The Royals would no doubt have benefitted from his experience in front of goal – but it looks like they might now miss out on the player.

The Verdict

Shane Long might have plenty of experience to his name and may have once helped Reading to the Championship title but it’s debatable as to whether he would be the right man to lead the line at the club.

At 35-years-old, he is certainly at the back end of his career and whilst a drop in division and regular football would likely see him increase his goal contribution tally, there could be better options out there. He last had a double digit goals tally back in the 2015/16 season and whilst his amount of starts have dipped since then, he’s still managed plenty of league outings since.

He’s also struggled for gametime recently and that could mean he is a little rusty. He hasn’t played in the Championship since a stint with Bournemouth either and he struggled to get involved and do much then too.

It even comes as somewhat of a surprise that Southampton are trying to keep him considering their options – but they clearly have plans for the player.

Writer for Football League World.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Reading set to wait as striker target in talks over new Southampton deal

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