Reading FC transfer stance emerges on Burnley, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Besiktas target | OneFootball

Reading FC transfer stance emerges on Burnley, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Besiktas target

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Football League World

Reading’s Head of Football Operations Mark Bowen has warned interested sides in Lucas Joao that the Royals will only sell players if they can bring in better replacements, speaking to Berkshire Live.

The Angolan international has just one year left on his deal but with the Berkshire outfit having a very limited number of options in the forward department and the striker being their star man, many of the second-tier side’s supporters are desperate to see him remain at the club.

However, the club’s resolve could be tested this summer with Turkish Super Lig outfit Besiktas reported to have submitted a £3m bid (27/6; 5:35pm) for his services.

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Football League World understands Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough are also interested in luring him away from the Select Car Leasing Stadium in the coming months, with the 28-year-old scoring 10 goals and recording three assists in just 24 league appearances last term.

Managing to impress despite having his 2021/22 campaign disrupted by a hip injury, he’s not short of interest and could potentially make a move away from Berkshire if an acceptable offer comes in.

However, with the Royals currently unable to spend transfer fees even if they do cash in on Joao, Bowen has said the club will only accept offers for their current squad members if they can replace them with better players.

Speaking to Berkshire Live, he said: “In terms of numbers, I don’t think we can afford to lose too many players.

“It’s not a money issue at the moment. The only departures we’ll have is if we let players go and we can get in better.

“That has to be the remit. It’s purely about making sure our squad is as strong as it can possibly be notwithstanding the EFL restrictions. Offers for players I can’t see making any difference.”

The Verdict:

At this stage, there’s little point in selling Joao with the EFL restrictions because he could easily be the difference between the Royals staying up and going down next season with his goalscoring prowess.

Although letting him go for free next summer would be painful for the second-tier outfit, they would be even worse off financially if they were to go down, so keeping him is a no-brainer with George Puscas’ future uncertain.

Shane Long may be close to signing on the dotted line at the Select Car Leasing Stadium – but they can’t rely on him to play 46 games and score the goals Joao has in recent years.

Selling him to a second-tier rival also wouldn’t make sense considering he could be the man that sends the Royals down to the third tier, so it will be interesting to see where he goes if he does leave.

It will also be fascinating to see if the Berkshire outfit’s stance changes on a potential sale if the EFL allow transfer fees to be paid for incoming players.

They will still be restricted in what they could bid though and considering how much Joao’s worth, they probably wouldn’t be able to adequately replace him regardless of the footballing body’s stance.

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