Shane Long may have to wait another season before getting another chance in the Premier League as Reading have placed a £10m price tag on the head of the striker.
Long was mainly used a substitute in Reading’s recent two years in the Premier League, but has since taken his opportunities in the first team back in the Championship, although he was unable to fire them back into the top flight when beaten in last season’s play-off final by Swansea.
However, his displays have generated fresh interest from the Premier League, with Everton, Sunderland, West Brom and Newcastle all interested in securing his signature.
All of these clubs could benefit from a 15-goal a season striker in their hopes of finishing among the European places and even potentially make an unexpected assault to break into the top four.
Sunderland have already had a £7m offer turned down for Long and they may be unprepared to bid again having just signed Connor Wickham from Ipswich.
Newcastle have also already signed West Ham’s Demba Ba on a free transfer this summer, while Everton may consider Long a second choice as they prioritise Craig Bellamy from Manchester City.
Although none of these Premier League clubs may feel that £10m is a justified risk for Long, Reading manager Brian McDermott knows that if this price tag is met then the club are resigned to losing their leading goal threat.
McDermott said: “If a Premier League club comes in and we feel it is the right offer there’s nothing we can do.”
Long was certainly productive in firing Reading into the play-offs last season as he managed 21 goals in and ten assists.
If Reading do keep hold of Republic of Ireland international Long for one more season it would enhance their chances of promotion and they are currently 12/1 to win the Championship.