Former Royals top McDermott's transfer wish list
Published: 26 Apr 2012 12:004 comments
Royals' boss spent the early part of this week on a scouting mission in Denmark where he took in a Super League match between Odense and Aarhus among other games.
No sooner had Reading clinched their return to the top flight after a four-year absence and the club was linked with a host of summer targets.
It is thought McDermott is keen to bring ex-Royals favourite Gylfi Sigurdsson back to the Madejski Stadium when his loan finishes with Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City, the club who beat Reading in last season's play-off final at Wembley.
However, the free-scoring midfielder is still under contract with Hoffenheim and is attracting interest from some of the Premier League's top clubs including Arsenal and Tottenham.
The Chronicle understands McDermott also wants to re-sign Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand following the left-back's excellent season-long loan back in the 2009/10 campaign.
However, Blues will be reluctant to sell the player they see as Ashley Cole's long-term replacement.
Other players interesting Reading are Sunderland's Kieran Richardson, Blackpool's Matt Phillips and Crystal Palace duo Wilfried Zaha and Nathaniel Clyne.
Royals are certain to strengthen over the summer, with the club set for a £100
million promotion windfall.
And new Russian owner Anton Zingarevich is ready to back McDermott in the
transfer market, having already provided the funds to land
talismanic striker Jason Roberts from Blackburn Rovers in January and persuade sought-after winger Jimmy Kebe to sign a new contract.
Director of football Nick Hammond, pictured left, confirmed transfer talks with McDermott and Zingarevich will now take place next week.
Speaking exclusively to the Chronicle, he said: "It's been absolutely full on since we gained promotion last week.
"It was an incredible achievement by everyone involved and we're very much looking to the future now. Myself and Brian will sit down next week and see where we are and we will be speaking to Anton as well.
"Once we've had that discussion we can think about moving things forward."
Reading were crowned champions in the most dramatic style last Saturday when their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace coupled with Southampton's defeat at Middlesbrough secured the club's second Championship title in six years.
But Hammond stressed they will not be easing up in their final league game at Birmingham City on Saturday (12.30pm ko).
"We've got a big game on the weekend and we want to finish the season in the right manner," stated Hammond. "Once that's out of the way things will start moving forward next week."
Meanwhile, the proposed takeover of Reading by Thames Sports Investment, the group headed by Zingarevich and UK figurehead Chris Samuelson, is on the verge of being
rubber stamped by the Premier League.
TSI are poised to acquire a 51% stake for £25 million with the option of increasing their share at a later date.
According to sources, the full cost of the buyout is £40 million which includes the Madejski Stadium, Hogwood Park training ground plus the playing and management squad.
It is thought the deal does not include the purchase of the Millennium Hotel, though Samuelson has already hinted they could sell the naming rights to the Madejski Stadium to raise further funds.
Hammond added: "As far as I'm aware everything is going through as expected. We will make an announcement soon."