It looks like another bright prospect from Reading's academy will soon be going out the door. According to various reports, recently relegated Aston Villa have hammered out a deal with Reading for 21 year-old Aaron Tshibola.
Earlier today, TeamTalk reported that the Villans had submitted a bid of £5m for Tshibola, with the Daily Telegraphs' John Percy backing that up...
According to the Reading Post, the Royals have since accepted that bid, with Tshibola keen on a move. Tshibola is currently in talks with Aston Villa over personal terms - a process that should be completed this week.
The Birmingham-based side have a strong Reading link through assistant manager Steve Clarke, who was of course in charge at the Mad Stad for the first half of last season. Having given Tshibola his break in the first team, you'd imagine that the relationship between the two is pretty strong.
Jaap Stam had gone on record recently to say that he'd hate to lose Tshibola, in the face of interest from Villa, Norwich and other clubs:
“All I can say is his future is here. I don’t want him to leave - that’s what I told the club as well. He’s a quality player so I need him to stay at Reading.
Aaron is young and has so much quality - those players you want to keep. You don’t want to sell them."
“Of course it’s up to Aaron as well but you know how it works in football. There are a lot of agents involved and everybody is looking at their own interests.
A lot of rumours come from there but all I can say is he’s not going to be going away, he’s going to be staying at the club.”
Apparently he won't.
I agree with Stam's assessment - Tshibola is one of the brightest prospects that Reading's academy have produced in recent years. His composure, technique and athleticism allowed him to become a key player in late 2015, before his season was cruelly cut short through injury.
Is £5m a fair fee?
In the circumstances, yes. I'm confident that, in the end, Tshibola will develop into a player worth much more than £5m, but he's a way off that at the moment. Despite his promise, let's not forget that he's only played in the league for us 13 times. Had he got a full campaign (or more) under his belt, we'd be looking at taking more than £5m for him.
What do you think? Is £5m a fair fee for Tshibola, or is he worth more than that? Should Reading be selling him at all? Let us know in the comments.