READING FC boss Paul Clement has defended the club’s decision to hand Yakou Meite a new, long-term contract.

Meite signed a fresh four-year deal last week that keeps him at Madejski Stadium until summer 2022.

Eyebrows were raised at the length of the contract, with supporters questioning the length of the contract Meite had been offered.

The 22-year-old has scored just once in 15 league and cup appearances this season and twice in the 28 games he has played for the Royals since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2016.

However, Clement explained: “Sometimes things are reported that are not accurate.

“Yaks is a young player with a lot of potential who can help us at this level. If he continues to grow and improve he has the potential to play at the next level as well.

“Inside the contract there are things put in place that we don’t share publicly that protect the club and incentivise the player to do well.

“There’s nothing to say how much money he’s on or how much he gets if he does this or does that.

“I don’t have a problem with giving a player a long-term contract, but you have to take other things into consideration and what is reported doesn’t tell you what’s inside the contract.”

Reading Chronicle:

Striker Yakou Meite pens a new deal alongside Royals chief executive, Ron Gourlay.

Meite spent last season on loan at Sochaux in the French second division, scoring three goals in 31 matches, 13 of which were starts.

He returned to Reading earlier this summer and has been a regular in Clement’s struggling side, sometimes playing as a striker and other times as a wide-man.

Clement insisted: “If the four-year contract is for five pounds a week then Reading fans won’t have an issue. Obviously, it’s not that amount.

“We want our young players to be hungry. Even though the length of the contract is there, there’s enough inside it to make players hungry to achieve success for the club.”

He added: “We can’t put any more information out apart from that.

“There is going to be speculation, but hopefully fans now understand the club looks very carefully at every contract offer.

“The other thing is the player will be become a free agent at the end of the year, so I’m sure some fans wouldn’t be happy if we reached a situation where the player leaves for nothing.”

Reading crashed 4-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday to leave them one place above the Championship relegation zone.

However, Clement confirmed strikers Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Sam Baldock should both be fit for the next fixture against Millwall on October 20 after missing the trip to the Hawthorns through injury.

Defender John O’Shea should also be available after recovering from a knock he picked up in training.