John Swift has been a key player for Reading this season, recording seven goals and four assists in ten league matches so far and proving to be instrumental in getting the Royals up the table since the international break.
He’s been a key player for the Berkshire outfit ever since his arrival from Chelsea on the expiration of his contract in 2016, helping them achieve a third-place finish in his first season at the Select Car Leasing Stadium and taking his current side to within a few spot-kicks of Premier League football.
This has been his most impressive campaign thus far though and amid a likely points deduction for the second-tier club, he could continue to be key in ensuring they escape the jaws of relegation with ease during the remainder of 2021/22.
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But with these performances, he was inevitably going to receive further Premier League interest after being the subject of a bid from Sheffield United last year.
Though they are now in the Championship, the Blades were in the top-flight side that had just finished in ninth place at the time of the offer and privately, Swift would probably love the opportunity to ply his trade for a club in their previous position.
Fresh Premier League interest has emerged recently though, so let’s take a look at the latest transfer news surrounding the 26-year-old.
What do we know?
Football League World understands top-flight quartet Burnley, Crystal Palace, Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers are all interested in negotiating a winter window deal for the midfielder, in a major blow to Reading who will be desperate to keep hold of him.
However, his contract expires at the end of the season with the club failing to tie him down to a longer-term deal in Berkshire and with a points deduction putting an unlikely promotion push into even further doubt, he’s unlikely to sign fresh terms as things stand.
Reading’s off-the-pitch situation may also affect the second-tier side’s ability to offer an attractive deal to get him to stay – and you would probably even suspect that he may have to take a pay cut if he wants to remain at his current side.
Because of their current situation, the Championship club also need to submit a business plan to the EFL with a view to a more sustainable future, so an even bigger wage for Swift is unlikely to be an option.
With a cut-price fee potentially being able to be negotiated, all four clubs who have shown an interest are likely to be able to afford him depending on whether Reading are willing to come to the negotiating table.
Is a transfer likely to happen?
If you look at Reading’s track record in recent years, you will find they have been reluctant to sell players in recent years, one of the reasons why they currently find themselves in financial bother with the EFL.
Otherwise, it would have been hard to see owner Mr Dai Yongge cash in on one of his most prized assets.
At this stage with their current injury record and reliance on the 26-year-old, you would probably say they will keep hold of him with low bids likely to come in due to his contract situation.
Wolves weren’t willing to pay over £7m for Cardiff City striker Kieffer Moore in the summer (21:35) who had longer to go on his deal, so it would be hard to see them or the other interested sides launch a bid that will satisfy officials at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
However, the club’s need to be more sustainable and the fact he could walk away for free at the end of the season after seeing another key player in Omar Richards leave for nothing in the summer may persuade Reading to at least listen to offers.
Whether they will accept one is a whole different question though.