Newly-promoted to the Premier League, Reading appear set to smash their wage structure in order to land Russian international striker Pavel Pogrebnyak this summer.
Pogrebnyak, who was a hit loan signing for Fulham last term, scored six goals in just eight appearances for the Craven Cottage club, after joining on a non-permanent basis in January.
Cottagers boss Martin Jol was keen to sign him on a permanent basis, but so impressive was the nature of his performances, a host of Premier League clubs were alerted to the striker’s availability.
Reading now seem to have won the race for his signature, with the imposing forward expected to sign a four-year deal at the Madejski Stadium, worth a staggering £13million.
That works out at £65,000 per week, meaning Pogrebnyak will collect a salary in excess of what clubs the stature of Liverpool were willing to pay to obtain him.
However, the Championship-winning Royals, bankrolled by new owner Anton Zingarevich, are said to think of the striker as a worthy investment, should he get the goals that see them retain their Premier League status this season.
The player’s recent release from VFB Stuttgart negates the necessity for a transfer fee to be paid to any club, and so Reading have instead decided to offer a seemingly irresistible financial package to the 28-year-old.
For Fulham meanwhile, Pogrebnyak’s snub only adds to a host of problems the London outfit have in their attacking department.
Although never permanently contracted to the club, the Russian is the second striker to exit Craven Cottage as a free agent, with Andy Johnson expected to move to QPR in the coming week.
With interest from Champions League clubs rife in Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey too, Jol’s striking options may be extremely limited during this campaign.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.