Reading knew they were going to face a major battle in their quest to sign Iago Aspas, but it seems that they will have to look elsewhere to break their transfer record on a striker to fire them to Premier League safety.
Somewhat surprisingly, the highest sum Reading have ever paid to date is the £2.5m they gave French side Nantes in 2007 for Emerse Fae, who only started six games for the club.
Adam Le Fondre is their top scorer this season to date in the top flight with six goals, but it is arguably at the other end of the pitch where they need to make the greatest improvement.
No team has let in more Premier League goals than Reading this season and this is the biggest reason that they are 1/5 to suffer an immediate return to the Championship.
Zambia’s Stopilla Sunzu has been long tipped to arrive and with this now looking more likely, Brian McDermott has turned his attentions to scoring more goals.
It is highly likely that Reading will have to break their transfer record to sign a striker capable of keeping them up and the leading target was Aspas.
Swansea and Newcastle were among the other English clubs interested in the Celta Vigo hitman, while Valencia could do with a striker as their bid for another top-four finish in Spain is in real jeopardy.
Which of the parties were prepared to pay Aspas’ £8.3m minimum fee release clause was the main question, with Reading making the first move.
However, Valencia are now reportedly prepared to pay the same figure and a chance of playing in the Champions League seems more appealing than a relegation fight.
Aspas netted 23 goals to ensure Celta’s promotion last season and has helped himself to eight in 18 games in the current campaign.
Reading are 7/2 to stay up and they at least need to start getting the best from Pavel Pogrebnyak if they are to move out of the bottom three.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.