JAAP Stam has spoken of the financial restraints he is working under at Reading FC – at a time he strengthened his squad for the Championship run-in with two new signings.

Derby County striker Chris Martin arrived on loan shortly before Wednesday's transfer deadline.

The capture of long-term target Martin - who also spoke to Sunderland - followed the loan signing of Aston Villa defender Tommy Elphick on Monday.

Royals boss Stam freed up some cash by selling winger Roy Beerens to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem for a fee in the region of £500,000, while Adrian Popa was loaned to Saudia Arabian side Al-Taawoun.

Stam had also been linked with a string of other players including Brighton forward Tomer Hemed, Preston’s Jordan Hugill, Walsall’s attacking midfielder Erhun Oztuner and Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw.

Hugill, though, move to West Ham for a reported £10m, while Hemed had a number of options from rival clubs but ended up staying put.

And Stam accepted that Reading needed to be 'creative' in the window because money was in short supply.

"It’s not easy because we don’t have a lot to spend when players are quite expensive,” Stam said before Wednesday's 11pm deadline.

"Financial Fair Play doesn’t allow us to invest a lot of money.

“You always want players who can add some extra quality, but teams are not going to sell their best players, or you need to pay a lot of money which we don’t have.

“Like I said before, we need to be creative, but it’s not easy".

Reading Chronicle:

Striker Chris Martin joined Royals on loan from Championship rivals Derby County.

Stam claims he had limited funds to spend this month due to previous mismanagement by the club’s former owners before Chinese siblings Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li took over in May last year.

“It’s not only about these owners, I think they want to do something,” he explained.

“But there is Financial Fair Play which doesn’t allow us to invest a lot of money because of what happened in previous seasons.

“That’s basically how it is right now and why we can’t invest and get players.

“We had this problem at the beginning of the season in the transfer market and we have it now.

“You can want a lot, but you basically can’t do a lot because of mismanagement in seasons before this.”

Popa claimed an assist on his Al-Taawoun debut in a 1-0 win over Al-Nasr on Tuesday, with Beerens unveiled yesterday by Vitesse, his fifth Dutch club.

Berrens scored nine goals in 63 Reading appearances after joining from Hertha Berlin in summer 2016.

Reading Chronicle:

Tommy Elphick in action for Reading in the 3-1 win at Burton Albion on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Royals will be searching for a second successive Championship win to pull further clear of the drop zone when they host Millwall at Madejski Stadium tomorrow (3pm ko).

Stam's men secured their first league win in nine with a 3-1 victory at Burton Albion on Tuesday night thanks to a Jon Dadi Bodvarsson break and Chris Gunter strike.

Elphick came off the bench in the second half to help Royals go six points clear of the relegation zone.

Reading skipper Paul McShane, midfielder John Swift and full-back Omar Richards are all ruled out of this weekend's clash with hamstring injuries.