JAAP Stam has hinted Reading FC may be forced to sell their top players in order to strengthen the squad in January.

West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion and Celtic have all been linked with big-money moves for Royals defender Liam Moore during the transfer window.

Speculation intensified last weekend when Moore was left out of the squad for the FA Cup stalemate at Stevenage.

But Stam insisted the 24-year-old centre-back missed the tie through injury and not to prevent him becoming cup-tied.

However, Royals boss accepts that if he wants to bring in reinforcements, he may need to raise funds by cashing in on his crown jewels.

“If we want to do more (in the transfer window) then we might think about selling players,” admitted Stam.

“Liam was left out of the squad on Saturday because of a knock to his knee.

“There’s been a lot of talk about interest in him which is normal given how he’s performed over the season.

“You don’t want to sell these types of players, you want to keep everybody on board.”

Stam is keen on Southampton full-back, Sam McQueen, 22, while Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw remains a long-term target.

Reading Chronicle:

Sam McQueen in action for Southampton. Picture: Stuart Martin.

Royals are also rumoured to be interested in signing Derby County striker Chris Martin, possibly on loan.

The Rams are thought to be ready to listen to offers for the 29-year-old who has scored just once in 28 appearances this season, ironically in a 4-2 defeat to Reading at Pride Park in November.

Speaking about interest in Bradshaw, Stam stated: “There are certain players within the league we are looking at, it just depends what we can do financially.

“We haven’t got a large amounts of money lying there, but if we can do something it needs to be a player who can make a difference.”

He also confirmed McQueen is on Royals’ radar, though any move is likely to be on loan : “He’s been mentioned.”

However, Royals’ boss confirmed his interest has cooled in Manchester United defender, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, and Southend United midfielder Ben Coker.

“We’ve mentioned his name (Borthwick-Jackson) in the past but not at this time to be honest,” said Stam, adding: “We spoke about him (Coker) last season but not now.

“We need to be careful doing January transfers. We cannot do a lot, we are looking at two or three positions and to bring in extra players.

“But we need to look at what our priority is and we need to be creative. We cannot spend the same money as other teams you read in the papers.

“We’re looking at players who can make a difference.

“I’m hoping we can do something, yes.”

Reading will be looking to end a run of six Championship games without a win when they travel to Nigel Adkins' Hull City this Saturday (3pm ko).

Royals have lost four of their last five league fixtures and have dropped to 18th in the table, four points above the relegation zone.

Hull, meanwhile, are in 21st place with four fewer points and have the joint-worst defensive record in the division.