After recruiting Watford’s Tom Dele-Bashiru as their first arrival of the transfer window last week, Reading fans will be hoping this is the start of a brighter transfer window for the club.
The Royals have been under an EFL-imposed transfer embargo since the start of the summer after failing the governing body’s profit and sustainability rules, something that came as no surprise to those who have been following the Championship side’s financial accounts closely over the past few years.
These restrictions have hampered the Berkshire outfit’s ability to bring players to the Select Car Leasing Stadium in the past couple of months, even with six players leaving the club, teenage starlet Michael Olise joining Crystal Palace and Omar Richards moving to Bayern Munich.
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The departures have left Veljko Paunovic’s squad looking threadbare but after Dele-Bashiru’s arrival, they will be hoping to see many others following him through the door with rumours regarding potential signings starting to heat up.
With this, we take a look at some of the latest transfer speculation surrounding the Select Car Leasing Stadium in recent times.
Ribeiro closing in on a move?
The 24-year-old arrived in the East Midlands on a two-year deal in 2019 – but after making a respectable 52 Championship appearances for Chris Hughton’s side in two seasons – he was released on the expiration of his contract.
Reading, who lost first-choice left-back Omar Richards to Bayern Munich in the summer, have been in desperate need of a replacement all summer but opted against signing former Watford man Achraf Lazaar after seeing him struggle in pre-season friendlies.
At this stage, teenagers Ethan Bristow and Imari Samuels are the Royals’ only natural options at left-back, although central defender Tom McIntyre did an adequate job there when needed last season.
However, it’s clear Ribeiro is needed and they will be hoping to secure his signature as soon as they can.
Holmes to head the other way?
Championship rivals Nottingham Forest have launched a £1.5m bid for Reading’s 21-year-old academy graduate in an attempt to lure him to the City Ground, as per Football Insider.
Berkshire Live, who reported Forest’s initial interest earlier this month, have since stated the offer made was lower than the one touted by Football Insider and went on to say the centre-back is keen on extending his stay at the SCL Stadium.
Last month, it was reported Holmes had been offered a three-year deal to extend his stay at the Championship side and as a boyhood Reading fan, it’s expected he will commit his future to the Royals when a reasonable offer is put on the table.
With less than 12 months left on his current contract though, speculation surrounding his future will continue to swirl around until he makes his intentions public or signs a new deal.
Laurent subject of interest from multiple clubs
According to the Reading Chronicle, 26-year-old midfielder Josh Laurent is the subject of interest from three separate clubs, with just 12 months remaining on his current deal.
The former Shrewsbury Town man signed a two-year deal with the Royals last July following the expiration of his contract at the Montgomery New Meadow – and fitted into the Championship seamlessly as he made an impressive 45 second-tier appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
This has attracted the attention of Nottingham Forest, who have already launched at least one seven-figure bid for Laurent according to The Athletic’s Paul Taylor (August 2, 13:35).
But the 26-year-old may hold out for a move to the top flight if he can impress again next season, with Chris Hughton’s side currently in the relegation zone and in a bit of a mess without their key man Joe Worrall at the moment.
Reading are insisting he’s not for sale this summer even with the loan arrival of Tom Dele-Bashiru – and with their lack of depth in multiple positions after being placed under an embargo – this could rule out any potential move to the East Midlands side this summer.
Triple transfer on the agenda
The Reading Chronicle are also reporting the club are monitoring the situations of Derby County’s Louie Sibley, ex-Birmingham City man Alen Halilovic and Manchester United midfielder James Garner.
Sibley is currently playing a key part in a depleted Derby County squad and with Reading currently unable to muster up the money to lure him away from Pride Park, this move looks unlikely unless Wayne Rooney takes the bizarre to loan him out.
A move for Garner, who played regularly for Watford and Nottingham Forest in loan spells last term, also looks unlikely unless Veljko Paunovic plays Dele-Bashiru in a more advanced position or one of Josh Laurent or Andy Rinomhota leaves the club.
He has rejected a contract at Manchester United though, which could make things interesting for those who are in the running for his signature, whether it be a loan or permanent deal.
At this stage then, it looks like Alen Halilovic could be the most realistic signing out of the three, although no further updates have emerged on his potential move to Berkshire since the original story broke.