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Reading Face Uphill Battle To Sign Koura

Reports from the other side of the Channel suggest that Reading won't get their man.

General Views of European Football Stadiums Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Two days ago, we brought you news (courtesy of L'Equipe) that Reading were looking to sign Anthony Koura. Koura is a young French forward who last played for Nimes, but is now available on a free transfer.

However, news emerging today suggests that it's unlikely Reading will get their man. As reported by Foot Mercato, Koura would like to play for a team at the top of Ligue 1 (the French equivalent of the Premier League). And, as things would have it, Olympique de Marseille have offered the Frenchman a four year contract. Although OM only finished in 13th last season, Koura holds Les Phoceens in high esteem...

"I like the club a lot. It's a good club. Even if they haven't always had a lot of success in recent years, they're still a big club."

"OM is hard to refuse. It's very flattering."

Nonetheless, he hasn't completely made up his mind...

"OM is a good project. But I haven't made my mind up. There are others to see. I'll think."

A host of options

Should that move not work out, there are plenty of other clubs who want to sign the Nimes man. According to Foot Mercato, the likes of Standard Liege, Nancy and Metz are all also keen on adding Koura to their squads.

In fact, Koura's agent Mamadou Bakayoko - eager to talk up his client's reputation, naturally - claims that all but two teams in France would like to sign the young forward. Those two teams? PSG, who are rich enough to buy pretty much anyone, and Lyon, who already have a plethora of young talent in that position.

Speaking about Koura's transfer prospects this summer, Bakayoko said...

"We are in talks [with OM]. As long as it isn't signed, nothing is done.

We're flattered by interest from OM, and other French and foreign clubs."

(Emphasis mine.)

Could one of those foreign clubs be Reading? Hopefully, but even if we are, it would seem that the Royals are well down the queue in their hunt for Anthony Koura. Is he really likely to reject one of the bigger clubs in France for a team that finished 17th in England's second tier?

Stranger things have happened.

The original article from Foot Mercato, which you can find here, was translated by a mixture of Google Translate and my A Level French. For the record, I got a B.