Southampton striker Shane Long is reportedly being watched by his former side Reading ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
The Lowdown: Long set to become free agent
The 35-year-old veteran first joined the Premier League side from Hull City back in 2014 for a fee believed to be in the region of £12m, where he’s since gone on to make 244 appearances for the south coast outfit during his eight-year spell at the club.
Despite his long-term service though, the forward’s current contract with the Saints is set to expire at the end of the month, making him a free agent to any clubs interested, and it would appear that a familiar suitor has emerged.
The Latest: Reading monitoring Long’s situation
In a new article published by Berkshire Live, it’s claimed that Paul Ince’s Reading are ‘monitoring’ their former player’s situation at Southampton ahead of making a ‘potential move’ for Long in time for the new season.
The sources further states that the Irishman is ‘expected to leave’ Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad following the conclusion of his deal, with him now having to weigh up what will likely be the ‘final move’ of his career before hanging up his boots for good.
Due to the Championship side’s financial transfer problems, they are currently only able to sign free agents or loan players this summer, and can offer them no more than a one-year contract.
The Verdict: A Royal reunion?
Long has significantly dropped down the pecking order under the Austrian boss, having made just 13 top-flight outings this season, netting one goal during that time, as per Transfermarkt.
The 88-cap international, who was once hailed for being an “incredibly talented” player by his former teammate Charlie Austin, enjoyed a hugely successful previous spell with the second tier outfit, recording 82 goal contributions over six years.
Should Southampton let Long leave?
A former Reading fan favourite, it now looks highly unlikely that Long will be staying at Southampton beyond the summer, and if this interest is serious, we could be seeing a Royal reunion in weeks to come.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience