Reading have recently been linked with a move for Charlton Athletic forward Chuks Aneke, who is out of contract with the Addicks this summer.
Aneke has been offered a new deal with the League One side, who are managed by former Royals boss Nigel Adkins heading into the new league campaign, but he’s yet to commit his future to the club.
The forward has been with Charlton since 2019, having previously played for the likes of MK Dons and Arsenal earlier in his career, but it’s at The Valley where he’s made a name for himself it seems.
Aneke scored 16 goals in 41 appearances for Adkins’ side in the 2020/21 season, which makes for impressive reading, especially given the fact that a large number of his appearances came off the substitutes bench.
But his efforts weren’t quite enough, as the Addicks missed out on a top-six finish due to some poor performances in the second-half of this year’s campaign.
Reading will face tough competition to land his signature though, with Middlesbrough, Coventry City, Queens Park Rangers and Bristol City, interested in signing Aneke heading into the summer transfer window according to TEAMtalk.
That is of course all dependent on Aneke not signing a new deal with Charlton, which could still happen, as they look to tie him down to a new contract ahead of their push for promotion back into the Championship next season.
A move to the Madejski Stadium with Reading could turn out to be a shrewd move though, with the Royals looking to add much-needed depth to their attacking options in the summer transfer window.
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They’ve recently released Sam Baldock, which means that they’ve only got two recognised senior strikers heading towards the 2021/22 campaign in Lucas Joao and George Puscas.
Joao was in hugely impressive form in the 2020/21 season, whilst Puscas struggled at times for both minutes and goals for Veljko Paunovic’s side.
The Berkshire-based side narrowly missed out on a top-six finish last season, and certainly missed a player that could step off the substitutes bench and score vital goals to keep them in the hunt for promotion back into the promised land of the Premier League.
One man that could do just that is Aneke, and he could have a similar impact to a former fan favourite at Reading if he signed for them this summer.
Adam Le Fondre is that man, with the former Rotherham United forward playing a starring role for the Royals in their promotion-winning campaign in the 2011/12 season as he scored 16 goals in 38 appearances. He then went on to score 12 goals in his 34 appearances for Reading in his first season in the Premier League, before departing the Madejski Stadium in 2014, as he moved to Cardiff City.
On a potential free transfer as well, Aneke could turn out to be one of the signings of the season if he can replicate the type of form he’s shown with Charlton Athletic this season, and that he could prove to be the missing piece in Reading’s promotion jigsaw in the 2021/22 campaign.