Reading fight to keep stars
Reading are facing a battle to keep key first-team players at the Madejski Stadium.
By Debbie Kaplan
Last Updated: 04/06/11 2:25pm
Reading director of football Nick Hammond is facing a battle to keep key first-team players at the Madejski Stadium.
Striker Shane Long, captain Matt Mills and wingers Jimmy Kebe and Jobi McAnuff will all be free agents in 12 months time.
Long has attracted interest from numerous Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, Everton and Newcastle United, as well as Scottish outfit Celtic.
And while manager Brian McDermott is desperate to keep hold of the 24-year-old, chairman Sir John Madejski has indicated he expects Long to be sold this summer.
Meanwhile, both Mills and Kebe - who have been linked with Bolton and QPR respectively - will be amongst the Royals' players to be discussed when McDermott and Hammond meet next week.
Hammond said: "Thanks to our FA Cup run this season and playing at Wembley in the play-off final we are looking like we are in a better position going forward.
"This is the time of year when we look at all contracts, from top to bottom, and we will be keen to hold on to our best players as we always are."
And although Hammond confirms there has been interest in their players, he also admits Reading have been drawing up a list of targets of their own - following a successful season which saw the Royals suffer a heartbreaking defeat in the play-off finals against Swansea.
Hammond added: "We have a number of targets that we are looking at and we are keeping a close eye on what the situation is with them. As always though, we will conduct our business in private."