GUNNERS MIDFIELDER JOINS ROYALS
By Steve Bateman
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 20-year-old midfielder will feature for the reserves on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to make his full Royals debut against Rotherham on Saturday.
Reading manager Alan Pardew was clearly delighted to have snared the signature of Harper, as he told the club's official site: "James Harper is a player whose progress I have followed for the last two years.
"I never expected him to become available, because I thought he would be a big player for Arsenal.
"When I found out he was available I had no hesitation - he has athleticism and an arrogance on the pitch that a modern footballer must have. He's also highly ambitious, and that fits in well with me," enthused The Royals' boss.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Alex Haddow has left the Madejski Stadium to link up with Third Division Rochdale.
The left-sided utility player had been tipped as one for the future although a lack of first-team exposure has left the pacy winger as little more than a frustrated observer in recent months.
It has also emerged that Reading are interested in signing Brighton striker Darren Freeman.
Top-scorer for The Seagulls last term, Freeman requested a transfer earlier in February after being dropped from the Albion team.