READING FC could be ready to spend big on a striker in the summer transfer market.

Chief executive Ron Gourlay confirmed the club’s Chinese owners are prepared to open the cheque book in a bid to revive the team’s fortunes after a poor Championship campaign.

Reading’s five-man strikeforce scored a mere 11 league goals between them last season as the battle against relegation went down to the very last day.

And Gourlay accepts drastic changes are required to challenge at the top end of the table.

“We all know what we have to put right,” he said. “We know where we were lacking and sometimes these players don’t come cheap.

“There are certain positions that we know need to be improved. You know what these positions potentially are and that’s the areas we are targetting first and foremost.”

When quizzed on whether Royals would spend more than £10m on a centre forward this summer, the Scotsman replied: “If the right player came along at the price we could afford then we would be prepared to pay the fee.”

Last summer, former boss Jaap Stam was priced out of moves for Norwich’s Nelson Oliveira and Huddersfield hitman Nahki Wells, who later secured a move to Premier League side Burnley.

Reading went on to score just 48 goals in 46 league games – four fewer than bottom club Sunderland – as they laboured to 20th in the table and three points above the drop zone.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, a £1m signing from Wolves, led the league scoring charts with seven goals followed by Yann Kermorgant (2), Sam Smith (1) and on-loan Chris Martin (1), while Joseph Mendes failed to get off the mark after an injury-ravaged campaign.

Reading Chronicle:

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was Reading's top scorer last season with seven league goals.

New boss Paul Clement is certain to strengthen in that department and Mendes has been told he can leave when his contract expires in June.

Midfielder Stephen Quinn will also depart and several more players could follow as Clement looks to re-build his squad.

Gourlay, 55, added: “Recruitment doesn’t just happen in the weeks up until the window, this is a 365-day process. We are constantly identifying players who could strengthen our squad.

“The next step is to see if those players are available and whether they are affordable. I’ve had meetings with the owners and with Paul Clement. We know who our targets are. There is money available to spend on the team.”

Royals have already been linked with a loan swoop for exciting youngster Mason Mount, who spent last season on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem where he was their player of the year.

Both Gourlay and Clement have strong links with 19-year-old Mount’s parent club, Chelsea which should be an advantage.

Reading are also being linked with Barnsley’s Andy Yiadom once again, West Ham defender, Reece Burke, plus Derry City winger, Ronan Curtis, 22.

Reading Chronicle:

Reading have been heavily linked with Barnsley's Andy Yiadom.

But Gourlay rubbished rumours suggesting he could try to lure ex-England and Chelsea captain John Terry to Madejski Stadium.

“It’s not right for me to talk about individuals at other clubs,” he declared.

“But obviously when we’re looking at strengthening the team we can look at loan deals and the budget we have for purchasing. We’re always on the lookout for an opportunity if the right player comes along.”