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Reading have only recently started spending big as they chase their hopes of returning to the Premier League. The Royals previous record transfer arrival was in 2006-07 when young English centre-back Greg Halford joined from Championship side Colchester United for just over £4m. It was not until 2017-18 though that this record was broken by former Fulham striker Sone Aluko who arrived for under £7m. Lucas Joao came close to being a record signing just two seasons later at the start of the current 2019-20 campaign, as he joined Sheffield Wednesday for almost £5m.
During the same summer transfer window of 2019-20, a promising young Romanian international centre-forwards was bought from Serie A side Inter Milan for a club-record fee of £7.20m. The 23-year-old named George Puscas has already proven his worth for the Royals, scoring his first EFL Championship hat-trick against Wigan Athletic on 30 November 2019, with all three goals coming in a near-record time of 4 minutes 54 seconds.
Reading purchased promising Portuguese centre-back, Tiago Ilori from Liverpool in 2017, for nearly £4m. After many ups and downs after two seasons, Ilori returned to his former youth club, Sporting CP for a lowered fee of £2.16m.
Ilori is still the clubs fifth all-time highest signing, closely ahead of recent signing Sam Baldock who joined from Brighton and Hove Albion last season for £3.50m.
Moving on to record transfer sales, the Royals are not known for producing world class talents and selling them on for big money. Their record sale fee still stands from over ten years ago in the summer of 2009-10 as Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle was sold to Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers for £6.84m. Doyle had a very successful time playing for the Royals, scoring 55 goals in just over 150 games, and subsequently earned himself a club-record sale.
Doyle’s sale narrowly overtook Dave Kitson’s departure just one season before. The English centre-forward made his move to Premier League side Stoke City for £6.30m. Aaron Tshibola is the Royals third-highest sale of all-time, after leaving Championship side Aston Villa in 2016-17 for just over £5m, and centre-back Michael Hector joined Chelsea the year before for under £5m.
Gylfi Sigurdsson notably spent part of his youth career at Reading following a move from his home country of Iceland in 2005. Sigurdsson broke into the first team in 2008, and impressively scored 18 goals in just 42 games before moving to 1899 Hoffenheim for just £4.68m. The attacking midfielder went on to make his return to England where he joined Premier League clubs Spurs and Swansea.