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Newsbites - 11th January 2012

January is here and that means one thing - transfer rumours galore!

One player the Royals are known to be interested in is Republic of Ireland U21 international Karl Sheppard. The striker is available on a free transfer from Shamrock Rovers and Reading are in the driving seat for his signature, according to the Reading Post.

The Reading Guide also gives it's take on the story

Jimmy Kebe has been offered a new two-and-a-half year deal at Reading but the latest club to be linked with the Malian winger is Stoke City (FootballFriendsOnline), after a host of clubs including West Ham and Leicester.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has extended his Royals contract until 2015, and joined Ipswich Town on loan until mid-April (Vital Football) - the England U21 keeper has already been on loan to Leeds United this season, where he kept three clean sheets in six games. Danish U21 keeper Mikkel Andersen has also extended his contract until 2015 (Football365).

Another player recently on loan elsewhere is Michail Antonio, who made 16 appearances and scored 4 goals for Colchester United in the back end of 2011. However, with Antonio now a fixture on the Royals' bench, U's manager John Ward has confirmed the winger is unlikely to return to Colchester (Football365).

Michael Hector, on loan at Barnet, helped his side to a 1-1 draw against Swindon Town in the first leg of the Southern Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy (Reading OS). The second leg takes place on Tuesday 7th February, with the winners travelling to Wembley.

Because of Reading's dismal 3rd Round FA Cup exit to Stevenage, and Bristol City's loss at Crawley Town, the Championship game between the two has been brought forward to Saturday 28th January at 3pm, from the following Tuesday at 8pm (Reading OS).

In case you missed it, Royals Post Episode 12 is now available, featuring the triumphant trio of West, Williams and Fordham. Download it or listen to it for free here.

And Kilmarnock FC Supporters' Club have an interview with ex-Royal Dylan Kerr, discussing Reading's playoff failures amongst mostly Kilmarnock-related subjects.