New deal for Royals striker
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Reward: Jason Roberts, pictured here with son Marley. is poised to sign a new contract with Reading FC. Pic: Chris Forsey. 122412.
JASON Roberts is poised to sign a bumper new deal with Reading FC.
The 34-year-old striker penned an 18 month contract in January when he joined from Premier League Blackburn Rovers.
He proved to be the catalyst for a storming finish to last season which saw Royals clinch the Championship title with one match to spare.
And the club are now ready to reward Roberts with a new two-year contact until summer 2014 as Brian McDermott continues to bolster his squad for a crack at the top-flight.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Grenada international Roberts insists he is still good enough to play in the Premier League and has at least another two years' of football left in him.
"I'm a Premier League striker and that's where I want to be playing," he said recently. "I'm 34 now but I feel young and healthy and I want to keep going for as long as possible."
While talks with Roberts are ongoing, Reading continue to be linked with a host of potential transfer targets.
Watford's highly-rated defender Adrian Mariappa, 25, remains at the top of McDermott's wish list, but the Hornets have already rejected a £2 million bid from Reading who are now considering a higher offer.
But Royals' chances of landing Nottingham Forest's Chris Gunter appear to have been dashed after a failed £2 million swoop last week.
Another of McDermott's targets appears to have slipped through his fingers after Burnley youngster Jay Rodriguez sealed a £7 million switch to fellow promotion-winners Southampton at the weekend.
But Royals' boss is still pursuing a number of other signings amid reports of interest in Copenhagen striker Dame N'Doye.
Reading scouts have watched the 27-year-old Senegal international in action, but Alan Pardew's Newcastle United are also believed to be interested.
N'Doye fired 59 goals in 104 games for Copenhagen and is valued at around £7 million.
Another potential target for Reading could be Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, currently on duty at Euro 2012.
The 28-year-old spent the end of last season on loan with Fulham, but the Cottagers are yet to agree a permanent deal meaning he is free to speak to other clubs.
Newcastle United's out-of-contract Danny Guthrie plus Huddersfield Town's £7 million-rated hitman Jordan Rhodes are also attracting strong interest from Reading.
Royals could now use centre-back Sean Morrison as a makeweight in the deal as the Terriers are eager to sign him permanently.
Morrison, 21, played 22 times for Huddersfield on loan last season and helped them clinch promotion to the Championship.
ROYALS keeper Adam Federici won The Football League Precision Goalkeeping Golden Glove Award for The Championship for the 2011/12 season.
Federici's 20 clean sheets from 46 games helped Reading clinch the Championship title.
READING'S Premier League 2012/13 fixture list will be released next Monday.
Don't miss next week's Chronicle for your free Royals fixtures pull-out.