Royals miss out on African duo
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reading have failed in their attempts to sign John Mensah and Emerse Fae.
Reading have been unsuccessful in their attempts to lure two World Cup stars to The Madejski Stadium.
The Premiership new boys had been hoping to sign Rennes defender John Mensah and Nantes midfielder Emerse Fae, but have seen club record bids rejected by the two French clubs.
Royals boss Steve Coppell had been prepared to pay £3.5 million for Ghanaian Mensah and Ivorian Fae (pictured), but has now ended his pursuit of the duo.
"We made an offer and they turned it down," Coppell confirmed. "Both clubs said to us it doesn't matter what you offer he is not for sale.
"So in those circumstances you don't keep knocking."
Nantes were especially firm in their stance on Fae, with chairman Rudi Rousillon slamming Reading for making contact with their player.
"It is unacceptable that someone has set about a Nantes employee," he fumed. "Fae has been unsettled."
Coppell is still eager to bring in reinforcements before Reading's opening Premiership game against Middlesbrough next Saturday.
"It's not too late to sign someone for the first Premiership game, absolutely not," he said.
"If I felt it was the right man for the right job I would put him straight in."
Coppell is still mulling over what to do with trialist Andre Bikey, following his sending off in Tuesday's latest pre-season game.
Coppell is no longer looking to snap up the Cameroonian permanently, but a loan move from Lokomotiv Moscow remains a possibility.
"With him being sent off for violent conduct I couldn't then go to the chairman and recommend we sign this player. We don't know enough about him," he explained.
"He only came away with us for five days and he speaks a different language.
"We are exploring the possibilities of a loan but we don't know if his club will be comfortable with that or the player himself will be comfortable with that.
"He does speak some English. I can have a conversation with him and he will understand me but if you are on a football pitch and you are screaming "turn", "man-on" or "far post" he is bewildered.
"Anyone will tell you it takes a couple of weeks to get to know all the footballing expressions so he would drop into that quite quickly.
"He already speaks four languages so I don't think English would take him too long to learn."