TOMMY Elphick’s permanent switch to Reading FC has been cast into doubt.

Royals were hoping to land the Aston Villa defender on a fresh deal following his four-month loan spell at Madejski Stadium last season.

But the Chronicle understands the door has been left open for Elphick to fight for his place by Villa boss Steve Bruce.

Elphick’s time at Villa Park appeared to be at an end after he lost his place in the first-team.

But sources in the Midlands suggest Elphick’s chances of playing regular football next season have greatly improved following the departure of former England and Chelsea star John Terry.

Villa are looking to offload players this summer to remain within tight Financial Fair Play restrictions.

However, Bruce could see 30-year-old Elphick as a useful option in the future as Villa attempt to mount another promotion campaign.

Elphick made only four appearances for Reading after sustaining a serious knee injury on his first start.

But he did help a previously porous defence secure a 0-0 draw at Cardiff City on the final day to end Royals’ relegation worries.

Meanwhile, Reading are being linked with Nottingham Forest winger, Barrie McKay.

Reading Chronicle:

Barrie McKay of Nottingham Forest. Picture: Getty Images.

McKay is expected to leave Forest this summer but his proposed move to Olympiacos appears to have stalled.

The Scottish Sun is now reporting that McKay – who scored five goals in 28 games for Forest last season – could be heading to Madejski Stadium.

McKay, 23, struggled to get regular games under Aitor Karanka when he replaced Mark Warburton.

The ex-Rangers striker is now said to be open to a move and would prefer to remain in the UK, with clubs in Germany and Russia also showing an interest.

Reading are also thought to be chasing former Stoke City and Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland.

The 31-year-old former Republic of Ireland star has been released by the Potters and is available on a free transfer.

Reading are one of several clubs in the hunt for Peterborough United’s attacking midfielder Marcus Maddison along with Derby County, Sunderland and Forest.

But Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony last week rated the player’s chances of moving to Royals as ‘doubtful’.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Reading have made a £7million bid for Leeds United midfielder, Kemar Roofe.

Reading’s Player of the Year, Liam Moore, and midfielder John Swift have both been linked with moves to the Premier League this summer.

Moore, 25, is said to be attracting interest from Brighton & Hove Albion, while Fulham are thought to be keen on 22-year-old Swift.

Reading’s first-team squad report back to Hogwood Park next week for the start of pre-season training.