John Swift looks set to leave Championship side Reading at the end of the season as things stand, bringing down the curtain on a reasonably successful six-year spell at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Starting every league game for the Royals this term, the 26-year-old has managed to re-establish himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet after spending much of last term out injured.
He may have been a less prominent figure for the second-tier outfit against the likes of Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Swansea City since the international break, but he still supplied a corner for Scott Dann to convert against the former and set up Tom Dele-Bashiru for the Royals’ early equaliser at the weekend against the Swans.
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This has brought his goal contributions tally up to 17 for the season in just 20 Championship games, an exceptional total with eight goals and nine assists to his name during 2021/22.
They may be benefitting from his attack prowess now in their quest to drag themselves away from the relegation zone, but the Royals look set to be the victims of his success in the summer with a move to the Premier League looking more and more likely.
Unfortunately for Veljko Paunovic’s men, his contract in Berkshire expires next summer and with the midfielder joining from Chelsea in 2016 after coming through the Blues’ youth system, the Championship side are entitled to nothing if he fails to sign a new deal and opts to take the step up to the top flight.
There are plenty of top-tier sides reported to be interested in his signature, with Football League World understanding Burnley, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Brentford are all interested in pursuing his signature.
Championship outfit Sheffield United are said to have cooled their interest in the midfielder recently with the Blades currently sitting in 13th place, conscious of the fact they may be unable to persuade him to arrive at Bramall Lane with Paul Heckingbottom’s men not firm favourites for promotion at this stage.
One Yorkshire-based side that could make a move for Swift though is Leeds United, with The Athletic’s Phil Hay reiterating manager Marcelo Bielsa’s admiration of the ex-Chelsea man in his Q&A on Saturday.
With many teams interested in his signature, it’s currently unclear who will win the race to lure the Royal away from the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
However, it does look as though he will be leaving his current side are the end of the campaign, with manager Paunovic admitting how difficult it will be to get the 26-year-old tied down to a longer-term deal.
The Berkshire outfit have Ovie Ejaria and Alen Halilovic who can fill the void Swift will leave if he departs in January, but considering how vital he is to the second-tier side and the fact they still aren’t out of relegation danger yet, they may decide to retain him even if offers come in during the winter window.