Reading slumped to their second defeat in three Championship matches last night after losing 3-2 at home to Bristol City – and there’s clearly a desperate need for additions to be made to their team.
The Royals have lost Michael Olise and Omar Richards this summer to pastures new and have been under a transfer embargo this summer due to breaching the EFL’s profit and sustainability regulations.
That means that Reading’s incomings have been limited, with just Tom Dele-Bashiru added on loan recently and clearly more business needs to be done before the window slams shut on August 31 – Yuri Ribeiro does not seem like he will be one of those players though.
The former Nottingham Forest left-back was thought to be closing in on a switch to the Madejski Stadium, however when quizzed on the Portuguese player last night, Paunovic responded, per BerkshireLive: “Who is Yuri Ribeiro? I don’t know anything about it.”
Quiz: Have Reading FC won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
It was a similar reply in which he gave to the future of defender Tom Holmes, who has been the subject of interest from Nottingham Forest in the last week.
Football Insider believe that the Tricky Trees have lodged a £1.5 million offer for the 21-year-old, who featured 35 times for Reading in the Championship last season and can play at both right-back and centre-back.
“I have no idea about that, so no comment,” Paunovic said when asked about Forest’s apparent bid for the Holmes – it looks like the Serb is keeping his transfer plans very close to his chest.
If Paunovic knows something about Reading’s potential transfers then he’s very good at keeping secrets.
It will have been a bit of a struggle for Paunovic this summer not being able to add anyone to his squad – losing Olise and Richards will have been a huge blow as well.
He’s been forced to use youngsters Ethan Bristow and Femi Azeez and whilst the latter in particular is impressing, there’s still a worrying lack of depth.
Paunovic can not afford to lose Holmes or any more of his senior players but he also needs to add to his squad, so it would be ideal if Ribeiro was close to signing for the Royals – and if he is it will come out of the blue as Reading’s manager is pretending to not know who he is.