We first reported on the Royals' interest in Beric back on July 3, a staggering 57 days ago, and it has been a long slog of a saga. Several clubs have come in for the Slovenian frontman, bids have been rebuffed from all over Europe, and ultimately we arrive at an unsatisfactory ending for Reading fans. That is, because French site RMC Sport report today that a €5 million (£3.6m) deal has been agreed between Les Verts and Rapid Vienna.
The 24-year-old is set to sign a four-year deal and will complete a medical on Sunday before signing on the dotted line in the Loire. It is believed that Saint-Etienne's qualification for the Europa League on Thursday prompted their decisiveness in the move, with Rapid's failure to reach the Champions League in midweek also important in the Austrians' acceptance of a bid.
As for Reading, there is still a striker-shaped hole at the Madejski Stadium and perhaps an even larger one now that big unflinching Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak has departed for Dinamo Moscow. Whether Beric could have been the perfect fit will remain unknown, and the striker joins the likes of Lasse Vibe, Tommy Smith, and Czech legend Jan Koller as speculated Royals transfers that never came into reality.
However, the conclusion of this elongated move brings a sigh of relief in some respect. As mentioned it has been a gratingly long saga, with a couple of bids rejected at the start being the only real substance to rumours that persisted over a man that we all, frankly, know next to nothing about. What's more the wounds of the Zingarevich era remain and the concept that rectifying past spending errors by smashing our transfer record on an unheard-of forward stinks of lessons unlearnt.
At the end of the day, Reading need a striker before the transfer window closes next week, and the only new information we have is it will not be Robert Beric.
The deal has since been confirmed by Rapid Vienna, so that's the end of that one.