Reading FC are “resigned to losing” key striker Lucas Joao ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

The Angola international joined the Royals in 2019 and has plundered 38 goals in 83 appearances, including 10 in 21 last season.



One of the few players still under contract beyond this season, with his deal set to expire in 2023, he would command a fee- but this would be unlikely to eclipse the £5m Reading spent on him from Sheffield Wednesday three years ago.

According to Sunday Mirror journalist Darren Witcoop, newly promoted Nottingham Forest and recently relegated Watford are the two leading teams vying for his signature, with Steve Cooper’s Tricky Trees current favourites.

The City Ground outfit, about to embark on their first top-flight season in more than two decades, were extremely comfortable in front of goal last season, notching more than anyone else in the play-offs, but 34-year-old Lewis Grabban main striker has flattered to deceive in previous Premier League campaigns.

Only Norwich City scored less than the Hornets, with only one player hitting double figures for goals as they finished second from bottom and were relegated straight back down to the Championship under Roy Hodgson.

This would be a huge loss to Paul Ince, who has already lost key creator John Swift and is potentially losing a midfield spine of Andy Rinomhota and Josh Laurent.