JAAP Stam admits Reading FC will be ready to replace director of football Brian Tevreden if required – while casting doubt over his own contract situation.
Derby County want Tevreden to be their new technical director after sacking Chris Evans, manager Steve McClaren and assistant Chris Powell this week.
The Chronicle understands no official approach has been made and that Tevreden remains committed to his role at Madejski Stadium.
However, it is also thought the ambitious Dutchman remains a target for the Rams, who could tempt Reading with a big compensation offer.
Royals boss Stam revealed: “I’ve spoken to Brian but not about that. Names are always mentioned when people get sacked or move away.
“But Brian is still here, he’s signed a new contract and I don’t know what Derby want.
“He worked at our Academy before this job and I work very closely with him in terms of picking players and bringing new players to the club.
“We have a very good partnership, but that’s how it goes in football. When your team is doing well, other clubs notice.
“If Brian goes it’s a pity for us, but we will need to find somebody else. That’s how it works.
“Brian is under contract so if he decided to go they (Derby) will have to buy him out as well.
“But if he goes he will try and do a good job over there and I can’t say much more about it.”
Steve McClaren left Derby County this week after a major clear-out leading to links with Reading's director of football, Brian Tevreden.
Tevreden, 35, has overseen a huge turnover of players at Reading since joining the club last February after leaving his coaching post with Ajax where he worked closely with Stam.
He was brought in to replace ex-director of football, Nick Hammond, when he switched to West Bromwich Albion.
Tevreden has been instrumental in Royals’ recruitment process that saw players such a club-record signing Tiago Ilori join from Liverpool for around £3m and others including former Leicester City defender Liam Moore and Chelsea starlet John Swift establish themselves as first-team regulars.
Stam added: “Brian and I started something and hopefully we will get somewhere within a couple of seasons. If we do it will be a big achievement.
“We are already in the top six and if we want to build for the Premier League we need to invest in better players and better people within the club’s structure.
“You have seen Derby, they want to go up to the Premier League, they buy players every season, but they don’t make it.”
Meanwhile, Stam’s future at Reading also looks uncertain as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract.
The 44-year-old is one of the hottest properties in the Championship and Royals are yet to offer him a new deal.
“It’s not on my mind, I am not thinking about contracts yet,” Stam declared. “But I am thinking about the future.
“I’ve spoken about my ambition here, about growing with the club and making steps forward.
“Maybe I stay here, I don’t know yet. Can we make changes, buy players? Does it stay as it is, will players be sold? Do we need to do the same as we did this season?
“I want to keep making steps forward. Some players have signed new contracts recently which is good. But you always want to improve the squad so you are always looking at the end of the season and what you can do.”
Royals have received a boost for their trip to play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday tonight (7.45pm ko) as Paul McShane and Liam Moore have recovered from knocks and should be fit.
But Liam Kelly, Jordon Mutch, Tiago Ilori, Callum Harriott and Deniss Rakels, Sandro Wieser, Danzell Gravenberch and Stephen Quinn are all unavailable.