Reading have just over four weeks to go to make any signings before their opening game against Stoke City at the start of August, with the Berkshire side yet to recruit any arrivals so far this summer.
Youth players have been signed down to new contracts and other deals in the senior team have also been handed out, but with the Royals desperately needing to strengthen their left-back and wing positions, these lack of signings are a concern for the club’s supporters who will be anxious to see Veljko Paunovic build on the seventh-place finish they were able to achieve last season.
Many Reading fans believe their lack of signings in the January window proved to be costly with the Berkshire outfit slipping out the Championship play-offs towards the end of the season.
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And though the club are currently operating under a transfer embargo after overspending in recent years, they are still able to make signings and could make progress on incomings in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the present situation at the Madejski Stadium.
Olise closing in on Crystal Palace move?
According to journalist Jonathan Low, Crystal Palace have activated an £8m release clause to sign 19-year-old starlet Michael Olise in what will be a crushing blow to the Royals if this deal goes through.
However, the teenager only has one year left on his deal at the Madejski Stadium and risked losing him for a nominal fee next summer, so this deal could be financially beneficial for the Berkshire side and allow them to spend more in the transfer market.
The Championship side already have John Swift and Ovie Ejaria ready to replace Olise in his advanced midfield position, so a portion of the £8m could be utilised to sign new wingers if the EFL allow it.
Royals fend off West Brom interest to secure McIntyre
Since the last Reading edition of the FLW transfer round-ups, Tom McIntyre has signed a new three-year deal with the club to keep him tied to the Madejski Stadium until 2024.
The academy graduate and fan favourite made an impressive 38 appearances last season, a surprising total considering there was speculation about the 22-year-old leaving on loan less than a year ago.
Although some of these appearances came about due to injuries in the Berkshire side’s defence, McIntyre shone at left-back, in central midfield and his more natural position at centre-half throughout the 2020/21 season and has earned a now earned a new contract with his previous deal expiring this summer.
According to a source close to the club who first reported McIntyre’s extension, the Royals fended off interest from fellow Championship side West Bromwich Albion and others to secure his services.
And with Michael Morrison entering the final year or two of his playing career, he will be competing with Tom Holmes for this spot alongside skipper Liam Moore.
Holmes offered new deal
According to Berkshire Live, fellow academy graduate Holmes has also been offered a new three-year deal to stay at the club and like McIntyre, made more appearances than he expected to last year.
The 21-year-old stepped in at right-back with Andy Yiadom and Felipe Araruna both injured just a few games into the campaign – and put in an admirable performance that will be remembered for his solidity at the back against Watford and assist for George Puscas.
Towards the end of the season, Holmes was utilised in his main position at centre-back and apart from a disastrous day away at Norwich City, looked solid alongside the likes of Michael Morrison and Liam Moore.
This was his first full season in the Championship but stepped up to the plate and with just one year left on his current deal, they will be hoping to tie one of their assets down to a long-term contract.
As a boyhood Reading fan, he’s expected to put pen to paper but if Tom McIntyre’s negotiations are anything to go by, it could be a few months before we see the Royals clinch this deal.
Andresson set for Morecambe loan?
19-year-old shot-stopper Jokull Andresson could be on his way to newly-promoted League One side Morecombe according to the Reading Chronicle, after spending a week at the Globe Arena on an emergency loan in January.
The Icelander has also been out on loan at Exeter City twice and became a cult hero in the south-west before returning to Reading.
But despite impressing out on loan, Luke Southwood’s new deal and 18-year-old Coniah Boyce-Clarke’s appetite for first-team football at Reading could relegate Andresson to fourth choice at the Madejski Stadium, and would therefore be better served going out on loan again.
If the teenager secures a move to Morecambe, this would be his first taste of League One football after spending time in the tier below and even played for Hungerford Town three years ago.
With Reading producing the likes of Alex McCarthy and Ben Hamer from their academy this century, they will be hoping to retain Andresson and utilise him in the future, along with Southwood and Boyce-Clarke who have also graduated from the Royals’ youth system.