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Royals Linked With Latics Defender

Wigan Athletic centre-back Rob Kiernan is apparently courting interest from Reading, as well as fellow Championship sides Cardiff City and Birmingham City.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

WalesOnline are reporting that Kiernan is a target for three Championship clubs after Wigan Athletic's relegation to League One - and Reading is one of those named. The 24-year-old centre-back actually spent the second half of this season on loan at Birmingham City, making twelve appearances and scoring one goal. Kiernan has also made 14 appearances for the Republic of Ireland's U21 side, though hasn't yet earned a full international cap.

The report suggests that Kiernan can be obtained "for a nominal fee" - presumably, this means he has a relegation clause in his contract allowing him to leave if a certain price is met. With Alex Pearce potentially leaving the club as a free agent this summer, it could be that Steve Clarke is lining up a ready-made replacement for the Royals.

As mentioned above, Birmingham City and Cardiff City are also thought to be lining up bids - could Kiernan's time with Gary Rowett (who also loaned him when he was Burton Albion manager) persuade him to pick that option, or could he be tempted to leave the Midlands for Berkshire? Or will he remain at the DW Stadium to try and get Wigan back to the Championship? Time will tell, Reading fans...