JAAP Stam issued former Reading FC boss Brendan Rodgers a hands-off warning amid rumours the Celtic supermo wants to lure Liam Moore to Parkhead.

Ex-Royals manager Rodgers, who endured a frustrating period at Madejski Stadium back in 2009, has been linked with a multi-million pound swoop for the highly-rated centre-back in the January transfer window.

Moore has excelled under Stam’s guidance since arriving from former Premier League champions Leicester City in August 2016.

He signed an improved four-year deal with Royals earlier this summer and Scottish media this week reported that Celtic were ready to offer up to £5m for his services as Rodgers looks to plug holes in his injury-ravaged defence.

Reading Chronicle: Brendan Rodgers.jpg

Ex-Royals manager and current Celtic boss, Brendan Rodgers.

But Dutchman Stam insisted he has no intention of allowing Moore to leave Madejski Stadium, with Stoke City and West Ham also rumoured to be showing interest.

“If you want to build a club and eventually go somewhere then you’re not going to sell your best players,” asserted Stam.

“If you sell your best players then you need to replace them or the squad gets smaller every time.

“I can understand why he’s been linked with a move because he has the ability, like other players in the squad, to step up.

“That’s how it goes if you’re doing well.”

Stam also revealed he has held talks with the club’s hierarchy over adding to his squad in the January transfer window.

Reading Chronicle:

Manchester United's James Wilson enjoyed a loan spell with Brighton in 2015/16.

Reading were linked with a move for Manchester United’s out-of-favour striker James Wilson in the summer and Stam suggested Royals could re-ignite their interest in the 21-year-old starlet.

“I have met with the owners several times,” Stam continued. “We speak about the future and maybe having to bring in potential players.

“James Wilson was one of the candidates that we had on our list over the summer.

“We know his ability and we know what he can do but I believe he has had some injuries as well.

“We need to have a look at the type of player we bring in and if he comes in then whether he can deliver straight away or not.

“He certainly is an interesting player.”

Meanwhile, Stam also quashed rumours that former flop Jordon Mutch could return on a permanent deal in the new year.

The 25-year-old failed to impress at Reading after joining on loan in January until the end of last season. He made nine appearances, scoring one goal.

Reading will be searching for a third successive Championship victory when they host leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers this Saturday (3pm ko).

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