Premier League new boys Reading are considering a swoop on Crystal Palace duo Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne for a reported £8million according to The Mirror.
Reading manager Brian McDermott is already drawing up his transfer plans for the summer as he leads The Royals back into the top flight since 2008. It is thought he has made inquires about the availabilities of both players and will look to agree a combined figure for the duo with Palace.
Both players are currently involved in the England Under-21 set up and are thought to be bright prospects for the future. Full-back Clyne, 21, is free to leave Palace at the end of the season as his contract expires – any fee will therefore go to a tribunal with clubs such as Manchester United heavily linked with the player but no moves have materialised as of yet. A package of around £2million would need to be settled with Palace for the talented defender.
Recently awarded the Football League’s Young Player of the Year, 19-year-old Winger Zaha has already been subject to offers in January from Bolton which were rejected by the club. However if Reading move quick enough with a bid in the region of £8million he could be plying his trade in the Premier League for The Royals come August.
Zaha caught the eye of many suitors with impressive displays in Palace’s Carling Cup run, most notably his composed and confident performance at Old Trafford which helped his side over come Manchester United and guide his side into the Semi Finals.
After narrowly missing out on promotion in the previous season, McDermott impressively led Reading to winning the Championship this term and now has the chance to practise his trade in the Premier League. Over the summer Reading lost key players such as then club captain Matt Mills to championship rivals Leicester and star striker Shane Long leave for Roy Hodgson’s West Brom.
This entailed a poor start to the season where they found themselves 23rd in the league after only one win in their opening seven games. McDermott reacted to this with good effect by using his experience of 8 years in the clubs scouting network to make the shrewd signings of defender Kaspars Gorkss and striker Adam Le Fondre.
This boosted the club, whose form drastically improved hitting its peak at crucial stages in the season. Add that with another masterstroke in the January transfer window in bringing in experienced striker Jason Roberts from Blackburn and The Royals were flying towards eventual championship winning success.
It looks as if Reading and McDermott will be heading into the new campaign backed by a new cash rich owner. Russian businessmen Anton Zingarevich has all but sealed the deal to become the new owner of the club and has declared his ambitious plans for the club, seemingly backing McDermott financially in the summer already.
So can Reading cope in the Premier League next season? The clubs playing style under Steve Coppell served them well for a season and a half the first time round, with no major signings brought into the club to try and secure their place in England’s top flight, they were subsequently found out with the lack of signings cost them.
Under McDermott they continue playing a familiar style of football, defending from the front and making the most of two direct wingers in a 4-4-2 has brought back success to the Berkshire based club. This time round, it seems as the club’s hierarchy are willing to bankroll any necessary transfers felt needed by McDermott to mix in with experienced players such as Ian Harte, Jason Roberts and Adam Federici.
Talents like Zaha and Clyne could benefit Reading’s hopes for survival next year mixed with other recruits. The team’s current spine of key players will no doubt be buoyant leading into what will no doubt be an exciting season again at the Madejski stadium.