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Reading FC Target Walsall Goalkeeper as Federici Replacement

Reading are looking at Walsall's out-of-contract goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell as a possible replacement for their own out-of-contract shot-stopper Adam Federici.

David Rogers/Getty Images

With official TTE player-of-the-season Feds being a possible departure from Berkshire, it makes sense to have an alternative option if the Australian doesn't put pen to paper on a new contract, which was offered last month. That has led Hammond & Clarke down the leagues to Walsall - who recently finished 14th in League One - where 26-year-old O'Donnell won the player of the year accolade for 2014/15.

Keeping 21 clean sheets in 54 appearances for the West Midlands side has led to interest from a number of clubs, including the Royals - according the the Reading Chronicle - and with the ex-Sheffield Wednesday keeper being available on a free transfer there is a high chance of the Englishman leaving the Bescot in the summer. However, a new deal is on the table at Walsall, but many believe the situation has been left too long by the Saddlers.

Among those voices is record-appearance holder Jimmy Walker, who gives an idea of the player's ability in comments to the Walsall Advertiser. Also, there is a fan-made YouTube video available below.

"His progression has been excellent. He's been playing at a very high level, made some great saves, and I think he will be a massive loss to be honest.
"Good goalies are hard to find. Sometimes you need a bit of luck and I think that happened with Richard – he came in at a good time for him and the club. It could have gone either way but fortunately it went very well.
"I don't know the ins and outs so I might be speaking out of turn and being a little harsh on the club but you would like to think they would have tied it up before the end of the season because they could tell he was a good goalie.
"When he was doing very well up until Christmas, you thought they would have been doing everything they can around that time to cut down his options in the summer.
"Because if he had another half-a-season like he had done – which is what happened – people are crying out for good goalkeepers. He certainly fits into that category and on a free, for some clubs it will be an absolute no-brainer."

Whether or not O'Donnell ends up at the Madejski is a matter of ifs-and-maybes. Firstly, it is obvious that Adam Federici is the preferred number one for 2015/16, but if he can't accept the terms laid out to him, it appears Reading will need to move quickly to bring in a replacement such as O'Donnell.

Is O'Donnell the type of player you'd like to see Reading bring in, if Feds goes? Comment below.