The fun never stops, Royals fans... Well, this week has been one of the busiest in our recent history anyway!
Reading have signed Watford goalkeeper Jonathan Bond for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in the region of £250,000. Bond was deputy to the Hornets' number one Heurelho Gomes last campaign as they won promotion to the Premier League. He made six appearances in all competitions last season and has spent time on loan at Forest Green Rovers, Dagenham & Redbridge and Bury during his time at Vicarage Road.
Bond has also made five appearances for the England U21 side after switching allegiances from Wales, who he represented at younger levels. He was named in England's squad for the European U21 Championships in the Czech Republic, though he didn't make an appearance during the Three Lions' failed campaign.
The signing of Bond is positive for two reasons...
1. We finally have a first team goalkeeper heading into pre-season - Bond is flying out to Thailand on Sunday with the rest of the first-team squad.
2. We finally have a first team goalkeeper to model the new kit!
CONFIRMED: Royals delighted to sign England u21 goalkeeper Jonathan Bond from Watford: http://t.co/2oNCYxygFZ pic.twitter.com/p7XoRfV2Fr— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) July 4, 2015
Bond, 22, signs three-year contract after the Royals paid an undisclosed fee for his services: http://t.co/2oNCYxygFZ pic.twitter.com/dRh03nTWhJ— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) July 4, 2015
Steve Clarke had hinted last week that he was looking to buy a goalkeeper rather than pick one up on a free transfer, and with the signing of the promising Bond at what looks like a fair fee, it could be another shrewd piece of business from the Royals. He told the official website:
"I’m delighted that we have managed to secure the signature of one of English football's brightest young goalkeepers. Jonathan is at the stage of his career where he needs a new challenge and the opportunity to establish himself as first choice goalkeeper. It is my intention to bring one more experienced goalkeeper to the club to complement the young talent that we now have."
With Ali Al-Habsi training with the squad after his release from Wigan Athletic, it could be that the 33-year-old Omani is the "experienced goalkeeper" Clarke is speaking of.
That so-called "green light" on transfers feels like the start of a Formula One race now (yes, we realise that technically no lights start a grand prix!).
We'll be getting the Watford view on Bond in the coming days, and tomorrow we'll be rounding up every single move that's happened this week in one of the most action-packed seven days in recent memory.