After the promise of yet another quiet January for Reading, things have suddenly taken a turn for the best with the Royals being linked with several players.
The Royals had been linked with Swindon goal ace Charlie Austin, the Hungerford born striker who spent the early days of his footballing career with Reading, however McDermott ruled this out, believed to be due to insufficient funds.
On Saturday, following the Royals F.A Cup victory over Barclays Premier League side West Brom, Brian McDermott confirmed he was in talks with Plymouth over the possible signing Bradley Wright-Phillips, half brother of Manchester City winger Shaun, and son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright. With Plymouth in financial trouble, it seemed a cut price was possible for the services of the 25-year-old and Reading are believed to have agreed a fee in the region of £100,000, a step up from the derisory £30,000 offer from Blackpool.
This should boost the Royals attack, with more reinforcements rumoured to be coming in. The former Reading striker Simon Cox is also being rumoured, once again, for a return to Reading on a loan basis, as he was in the summer. Roberto Di Matteo may be happy to let Cox go out on loan if West Brom is successful with their pursuit of Aston Villa’s John Carew.
Reading have also been linked with 21-year-old midfielder Josh Wright from Scunthorpe and 18-year-old Michael Jacobs from Northampton. Reading are also looking to striker a deal with QPR over the transfer of midfielder Mikele Leigertwood who has impressed during a loan spell at Madejski and has spurred interest from Championship rivals Ipswich.
With such activity coming in at the club, it can only be assumed that there may have to be sacrifice with many Royals starts being linked with moves away from Berkshire. Shane Long, who has recently rediscovered his goal scoring boots, has been linked with a move to West Ham and young welsh striker Simon Church has also been linked with a move to Wolves, with Nottingham Forest and Swansea also showing interest.
Reading are keen to keep hold of their prize assets, and according to manager McDermott there is no intention to let any of them go, following the departure of star midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, "In the summer we sold Gylfi Sigurdsson and at that point we had no choice. We are not in that situation now so I have no plans to sell any of our players [in January].”
"There's a possibility we might bring one in. But the most important thing for me is every single one of the players we've got now stays." If the Royals can retain the current squad, and add to it, they may fancy their chances to aim for the play-offs, or for an automatic spot.
I am sure the Reading fans will agree, but I have prayed that we didn’t become a ‘selling club’ as it could mean becoming a middle rate Championship side for years to come. The fact investment is now being made, little though it is, it shows a signal of intent from the club, and could signal good things to come this season.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.