Reading manager Paul Ince confirmed that West Brom defender Cedric Kipre was "close" to joining the Royals over the Bluebirds.

The 25-year-old centre-back played just 20 times for the Baggies before spending time on loan in Belgium and now the Welsh capital, but it could have been different.

Reading, evidently looking for a central defender with the news that Huddersfield Town star Naby Sarr is close to a move to the SCL Stadium, had agreed with the Ivory Coast international to make the move.

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Speaking to the media ahead of a clash against Steve Morison's side, Ince claimed it was West Brom and finances that scuppered a move.

"We looked at Kipre from West Brom and we thought we were close to getting him," the former England captain explains. "When you’re trying to do deals with clubs, they’ve got you over a barrel. I spent a lot of time with him and his agent but financially we couldn’t compete, then you see him swanning off to Cardiff and it leaves a horrible taste in your mouth as you do all the work, the player wants to come but we’re governed by what West Brom ask the clubs to pay."

The Welsh side got off to a perfect start on Saturday, beating newly relegated Norwich City.

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The most active in the window, more than 13 players have entered the Cardiff City Stadium, including former Royal Andy Rinomhota.

Assessing the task ahead on the weekend, Ince said: "They’ve had a go and brought in a lot of players, sometimes it can work one of two ways and have a different effect, but they’ve brought a lot of quality. Every game will be tough but there isn’t a lot between them. The first week is always a strange week so it’ll take six or seven weeks to work out what’s what."