READING could be set to trump Premier League rivals Fulham for the second time this summer by landing Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield Town.
Royals' new Russian connections served them well in the battle to sign Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Fulham tried signing the 28-year-old striker permanently after he scored six goals in 12 matches on loan at Craven Cottage last season.
But Reading - now owned by fellow Russian Anton Zingarevich - got there first and the ex-Stuttgart forward is poised to pen a four year-deal at Madejski Stadium on club record wages of around �30,000 per week.
Pogrebnyak passed a medical at the club's Hogwood Park training ground last week and will be officially unveiled once a work permit has been secured.
Now Royals could be about to gazump the Cottagers again by nabbing Rhodes from under Martin Jol's nose.
Jol has been tracking the 22-year-old striker for months but the Royals are believed to be preparing a �2 million offer, with ex-Terriers loan defender Sean Morrison thrown in as a makeweight.
Rhodes was named Huddersfield's Player of the Year after scoring 36 goals to help his side secure promotion to the Championship.
Morrison, 21, also became a big hit at Galpharm Stadium after making 22 appearances on loan for Huddersfield.
He scored from the spot in the League 1 play-off final against Sheffield United at Wembley which the Terriers won on penalties and Royals are now hoping to lure Rhodes to Berkshire with a tempting cash-plus-player deal.
Reading manager Brian McDermott refuses to discuss specific transfer targets but he did say recently: "We have a number of players in mind, like every club has at this stage of the summer.
"June has been fairly quiet but we expect things to pick up in July."
Reading's only confirmed summer signing when the Midweek went to press was winger Garath McCleary.
The 25-year-old free transfer signed a three year deal after leaving Nottingham Forest where he was named last season's Player of the Year.
Nevertheless, McDermott continues to be linked with a long list of potential signings, with Zingarevich ready to back his manager in the transfer market.
Reports suggest Royals failed with �2 million bids for Watford's Adrian Mariappa and Forest's Chris Gunter and may return with bigger offers.
Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong, Hull City's Robert Koren and Copenhagen's �7 million-rated Dame N'Doye are other possible targets for McDermott this summer.
l READING'S Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge has been moved to Wednesday, August 22 (7.45pm ko).
l THE Madejski Stadium Megastore will be closed for stock taking this Thursday.
l READING are holding a series of Summer Soccer Schools. To book a place call 0118 968 1480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.