JOHN Swift has signed a bumper five-year contract with Reading FC.

The England Under 21 ace penned a three-year deal only a year ago after joining from Chelsea.

But with rival Championship and Premier League club showing interest in the 22-year-old midfielder, Reading have tied Swift down until summer 2022.

Boss Jaap Stam said: “Everybody knows the quality Swifty has.

“He showed us all last season what a great player he is and the difference he can make in games.

“As a club, you want to keep these influential players within your squad, so I’m very happy that he’s signed this new deal at Reading.”

Swift hit the ground running after joining Royals and bagged nine goals in 45 appearances in all competitions last season.

He marked his arrival in Berkshire in style be scoring the only goal in Reading’s opening-day win over Preston at Madejski Stadium in the 2016/17 Championship campaign.

The former FA Youth Cup and U21 Premier League title-winner with Chelsea also helped England reach the Under 21 European Championship semi finals where they were beaten by Germany on penalties earlier this summer.

Royals director of football Brian Tevreden added: “Last season, John proved himself to be the exceptional young player we all believed he was back when he first signed as a Royal last summer.

“This contract shows how much faith the manager and everyone at the club has in his ability. I am sure he can play an integral part in the long-term future of Reading Football Club.”

Swift, who missed almost two months of last season through injury, was late joining up with Reading’s pre-season campaign due to his England Under 21 commitments.

But he hooked up with Stam’s squad during their tour to Holland and featured in Saturday’s 3-2 friendly defeat to Vitesse Arnhem at Wycombe’s Adams Park when he scored a penalty.

Swift joins Reading team-mates Chris Gunter and Liam Kelly in penning new long-term contracts this summer, while Stam, assistant manager, Andries Ulderink and first-team coach Said Bakkati also signed new deals.

Reading Chronicle:

John Swift pens a new five-year contract with Reading FC.

Chief executive Ron Gourlay stated: “A midfielder of John’s calibre and undoubted potential, promising the next five years of his career to what we are striving to achieve at Reading, is a clear demonstration of both commitment to the cause from an exciting, creative midfielder and long-term ambition from the club and its owners.

“I am delighted to have secured the services of such a talented young footballer until 2022.”