For the first time in 20 years, Reading will line up in League One from August.

After being hit with a second points deduction earlier in the season, Director of Football Operations- Mark Bowen- has alluded to loosening of some transfer restrictions.

With 12 first-team players departing this month, the bare bones of a squad need to be bolstered in the summer transfer window to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion.

Take a look at five potential free signings the club could make over the coming months.

Reading Chronicle:

Nick Powell

A vastly-experienced second-tier midfielder with the likes of Wigan Athletic and Stoke City, the 29-year-old has not had the best of times recently in the Potteries.

In and out of the squad, he picked up eight goal contributions last season in only 22 appearances.

Lacking a John Swift-type player since his 2022 departure, Powell could do exactly that if he fancied dropping into the third tier.

Reading Chronicle:

Sam Clucas

Another from the exodus at the Bet365, 32-year-old Clucas has featured just 15 times in a disappointing campaign.

Having his own injury struggles, the midfielder still has plenty of offer if he can keep himself on a field.

If he were looking to rejuvenate his career, a drop to League One in Berkshire could get regain his mojo.

Reading Chronicle:

Harvey Knibbs

At 24, the former Cambridge United star is beginning to come into his peak years.

Picking up double figure goal contributions in a side barely keeping their heads above water in League One clearly shows his quality at that level.

Needing to bring in players who the new manager can develop, as well as those who know what to expect in the new division, will be crucial and Knibbs fits the bill.

Luke Jephcott

A regular scorer with Plymouth Argyle during this rise from the fourth tier to the second, hitting 36 goals from 2019 until 2022, Jephcott found minutes hard to come by last year and joined Swindon Town on loan.

Seven goals in 32 league appearances for the Robins was hardly prolific, but he has proved he knows where the back of the net is in recent years.

Still only 23, there is plenty of room for growth as Reading lose Lucas Joao and potentially Yakou Meite.

Reading Chronicle:

Sam Smith

Someone Reading fans know well, having risen through the ranks in Berkshire, Smith scored two times in 11 appearances during the 2017/18 campaign.

The 25-year-old hit 21 goals in 2021/22 and another 14 last season as the U's survived in the division on the final day.

There are plenty of interested parties in the Mancunian, but a chance to return to where it all started could prove attractive.