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ROYALS SEAL DOUBLE SWOOP

By Paul Higham.   Last Updated: 05/07/01 5:09pm

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READING have announced a double transfer swoop by signing Portsmouth's Adrian Whitbread and Andy Hughes from Notts County.

Defender Whitbread spent the last three months of the season on loan at the Madejski Stadium and arrives on a free transfer after his contract with Pompey expired on July 1.

The 29-year-old signed a two-year deal and has been expected to become a Reading player for some time.

The fee for 23-year-old Hughes is set to be decided by a tribunal as The Magpies will receive some form of compensation for a player they developed.

Hughes has penned a three-year contract with the club and Royals boss Alan Pardew is keen to keep adding to his squad before the start of the new season.

"Adrian Whitbread did very well for us last season and our results while he was in the side speak for themselves," said Pardew.

"Andy Hughes is an ambitious player who will add more pace to our side and we think he's got a big future ahead of him."

The Royals also announced that club skipper Phil Parkinson and Ricky Newman have signed new two-year deals following their contracts expiring at the end of June.

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