Jaap Stam has blamed his Reading FC departure on the club’s failure to invest in players.

Stam was relieved of his duties in March after a woeful run of one win in 19 games left Royals hovering above the relegation zone.

The worrying slump came after Stam had guided Reading to the brink of the Premier League the season before when they lost to Huddersfield on penalties in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Royals finished that campaign third in the table, but they had dropped to 20th position by the time the club parted company with the 46-year-old Dutchman.

Stam, though, believes there were mitigating circumstances behind his departure such as a lack of investment in the squad during summer 2017.

Reading brought in seven players in that transfer window including record-signing Sone Aluko from Fulham.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Vito Mannone, Pelle Clement, Mo Barrow, Leandro Bacuna and Dave Edwards also arrived at Madejski Stadium.

In addition, Stam and his backroom staff were handed new contracts on the back of their third-placed finish, while Chris Gunter, Liam Kelly, John Swift, Liam Moore, Jordan Obita and Paul McShane were given fresh deals.

However, former Manchester United and Netherlands defender Stam says the financial support he received from the club’s Chinese owners fell short in the end.

"It was a great time working at Reading, especially the first season getting very close to going to the Premier League," he told Sky Sports News.

"If the club doesn't want to invest then it's going to be hard to maintain that certain level.

"The second season is always going to be harder and then you need to bring extra quality into the squad.

"If that's not going to happen then it becomes a very difficult time and that's what happened in the second season."

Stam, who was interviewed in relation to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer becoming Manchester United boss, also suggested his managerial style could be better suited to the Premier League.

And he says he is itching to get back into football management, but is waiting for the right job to become available.

He added: "If the opportunity is there then I'd prefer to work in the UK but if something else pops up then I'm open to that as well.

"I'm sure I can work the Premier League, maybe my style of play is better suited to the Premier League than in the Championship.

"But if the opportunity is there to work in the Championship I would love to do that as well.

"I'm open for everything, even League One it doesn't matter, as long as the team I work with wants to improve themselves and has certain ambitions to go forward.

"There's been many offers from certain clubs but there's nothing yet for myself to say I'm going to do this"

Stam was eventually replaced by Paul Clement, who avoided relegation with a 0-0 draw at Cardiff City on the final day of last season.

However, Clement was axed two weeks ago after a worrying start to the campaign and with Royals in the relegation zone.

Caretaker boss Scott Marshall remains in temporary charge while the search for a permanent manager continues.

The Scotsman will be in the dugout again this Saturday when Reading host Middlesbrough (3pm ko).