RONAN Curtis has revealed his reasons for rejecting an approach from Reading FC to sign for Portsmouth.

Royals are believed to have attempted to hijack Pompey’s bid with a late swoop for the Derry City forward in the past week.

But the 22-year-old opted for a move to Fratton Park for a fee in excess of £100,000.

The former Republic of Ireland Under 21 international penned a two-year deal on Saturday with the League One club.

He told the Portsmouth News: “There was quite a bit about Reading coming in on the day I was over in Portsmouth seeing the staff and doing my medical.

“Reading did come in, but I said I wanted to start in League One and get into the Championship with Portsmouth.

“Then hopefully one day, like every young man’s dream is, to get into the Premier League.”

Curtis, who can play on the wing or up front, scored four goals in his last seven League of Ireland appearances for Derry City.

He featured in their 2-1 win at Bohemians last Friday and found the net in a 4-2 defeat at leaders Cork City the game before that.

Reading’s interest was first reported when London-born Curtis travelled to Portsmouth for a medial at the end of last month.

“I’m really happy with the move and I just can’t wait to get started because it’s a massive club,” added Curtis.

“I said I’d rather go to Portsmouth first because they were the club who came in for me first.

“Not only that but because Kenny Jackett, the staff and everyone else were so nice and so helpful. Portsmouth was the only club I wanted to be with.”

Royals have signed three players so far this summer with the capture of John O'Shea, David Meyler and Andy Yiadom, all on free transfers.

Reading continued to be linked with Peterborough midfielder, Marcus Maddison, though reports this week suggest he could be joining a rival Championship club, most likely Nottingham Forest.

Clement is also thought to be keen on free agent Stephen Ireland, 31, following his release by Stoke City.