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Garath McCleary Signs New Reading FC Contract

The Royals' top scorer this season has been rewarded for his efforts with a new deal.

Manchester United v Reading - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Still no new signings at the Madejski Stadium this month, but arguably this news is just as important - Garath McCleary has signed a new contract at the club that runs until 2020.

The winger, born in Oxford, joined the club from Nottingham Forest in 2012, and has since made 173 appearances for the Royals, scoring 25 goals in total. This makes him the club's current longest serving player, and should he stay until the end of this contract, he will have been in Berkshire for eight years.

After a disappointing last couple of seasons, McCleary has found his form again in 2016-17, scoring eight goals and grabbing six assists to help Reading to fourth in the Championship table. This goal tally is greater than in any of his previous four campaigns.

The Jamaican international said:

"I'm over the moon and really happy to finally get it done. A big thank you to the people behind the scenes at the club and the people representing me also. The gaffer was also a big reason why I signed this contract.

"I've always stated that I've wanted to stay. My family are happy and I'm really enjoying my football so long may that continue."

Jaap Stam emphasised:

“I’m very happy that Garath has signed a new deal – he has been a very important player for us this season, not only in the goals that he has scored but also in the assists he has provided to others in the squad.

“A lot of clubs nowadays are looking for players with the qualities he has - his pace, his ability on the ball and the threat he poses in and around the opposition penalty box. So it is great news that he has signed this new contract at the club.”

McCleary, 29, follows in the footsteps of Liam Kelly and Ali Al-Habsi, who have also put pen to paper on new deals in recent weeks. Yann Kermorgant and Danny Williams are now the only senior professionals who are out of contract at the end of the season.