JAAP Stam suggested it could be unfair to stand in Liam Moore’s way if a Premier League club comes in with a substantial bid for the centre-back in January.

The sought-after 24-year-old has been subject of interest from Scottish giants Celtic and West Ham United in recent months.

And Stam admitted he could have a tough decision to make when the transfer window opens.

“It concerns me,” confessed the Dutchman.

“If players are doing very well and performing then there’s interest from Premier League clubs. It’s understandable that these clubs are linked.

“As a player sometimes you want to step up, but for us it’s important that you keep your best players.

“We have the utmost confidence in all our players but everybody knows he is one of the most important players in our squad.

“Other players aren’t at the same level as Liam yet.

“As a manager, if a club does put in a bid for a player like Liam then you have to consider whether you need to give him that opportunity.

“You have to decide whether you should hold him back or say to him that he’s just signed a new contract so he needs to stay here.

“Also for the club, maybe we can get a big amount of money and invest it in other players. I can understand that way of thinking.”

Reading Chronicle:

Royals Academy manager, Lee Herron, right, with Under 18s boss, David Dodds.

Meanwhile, Royals’ academy manager Lee Herron has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal following his success since taking over from the late Eamonn Dolan last year.

It is thought the Gunners have lined up Herron to work alongside Per Mertesacker when the German international takes control of Arsenal’s youngsters next summer.

“They keep me in the loop,” asserted Stam. “I’ve heard and I’ve read certain things about him maybe joining Arsenal.

“He’s been here for a while and he’s a man who knows what to do with youngsters. It’s always difficult if someone with his abilities leaves because then you need to get someone else in and you’re never sure how that’s going to work.

“It’s how it goes, if you’re working with a smaller club and a top club comes in and wants you to work for them then the temptation is there.

“It’s difficult to keep certain young players or the people working with those players.”

Royals face Burton Albion at Madejski Stadium for the club’s 500th home game on Saturday afternoon (3pm ko).

The match has been confirmed as a sell-out, with all tickets home and away costing just £5.

Stam concluded: “We don’t get a lot of sell-outs. It’s nice for the players, for the club and for the fans who are always there to see the stadium packed out.

“The atmosphere will be a lot better and the support for the team will be there.”