ALI Al-Habsi has told Reading FC he wants to leave the club in order to return closer to his family, Royals' boss Jaap Stam revealed.

The Omani shot-stopper, who scooped the club's player of the season gong for two seasons in a row, has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia club Al-Hilal.

And Stam admitted the club has been approached over a potential transfer and that the 35-year-old is keen on a return to the middle east.

"There has been interest in Ali," ," asserted Stam.

"He's made the decision that if the opportunity is there then he wants to go."

It is understood that it will cost just over £300,000 to lure Al-Habsi away from Berkshire because of a clause in his contract.

Stam continued: "Nothing has been done yet but he has a clause in his contract.

"Ali has done very well for us and it's a pity that he might be leaving.

"It's his choice and in a way you can understand it because it means he can live close to his family.

"We are very thankful for what he has done for the club."

With Al-Habsi set to leave the club imminently, Stam has already drawn up a list of eight goalkeepers who could fill the void.

Among them is Karl Darlow, who featured for Newcastle United in their promotion winning campaign last season.

But the 24-year-old faces stiff competition between the sticks and could be tempted by Reading in order to play first-team football.

Reading Chronicle:

Newcastle United keeper, Karl Darlow.

However, it is understood the Magpies will command at least £5m for the former Nottingham Forest player, which could be a stumbling block for Stam.

The manager asserted: "We have a list with eight possible goalies.

"There is Darlow.

"We have to look at if we can afford the fees and the wages.

"It's never going to be easy to bring in someone of the same or perhaps even better quality than Ali."

Stam also quipped: "Neuer from Bayern Munich is on there as well."