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Which Players Could Depart Reading FC This Summer?

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Olly takes an early look at who we could see head for the exit at the end of the season.

Reading v AFC Bournemouth - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

The summer transfer window. A period of overhaul for a lot of clubs, with Reading completely revamping their squad in July and August of the last couple of years. But for players to come in, players (usually) have to go out, whether that be released at the end of the campaign or sold for fee later in the summer.

Below we've taken a look at some of the most likely players to depart Reading this year, and split it into three different categories: those out of contract, those currently frozen out by Jaap Stam and those who have seen their game time limited by injury. This doesn't take into consideration the star players in the team that could be pinched by bigger and better clubs.

Out of contract

The only senior player whose contract runs out at the end of the season is Danny Williams. It is understood that talks are ongoing with the midfielder, but I'm struggling to see a situation where he remains at the Madejski Stadium. Williams joined the club from Hoffenheim in 2013 before the start of our first season back in the second tier, and is one of the biggest earners in the squad having been signed on a Zingarevich wage.

If the Royals won promotion then they would be able to put forward the same salary to Williams and his agent, and perhaps that is what they are waiting for, but if this doesn't happen the 28-year-old would need to take a pay cut. He has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League, with rumours linking him to Swansea, Crystal Palace and Burnley in the past.

Plenty of young Royals who are out on loan this season are also nearing the end of their contracts at the Madejski Stadium. Stuart Moore (Luton), Zak Jules (Motherwell), Sean Long (Lincoln), Dom Hyam (Aldershot), Craig Tanner (Plymouth) and Tariqe Fosu (Colchester) will all be aiming to impress in their spells away in order to earn themselves new deals. It’s hard to judge which (if any) of these players will see their contracts renewed as we haven't seen an awful lot of them, but as one suggestion I think it would definitely be worth giving Craig Tanner a chance in the first team.

In addition, Rob Dickie, Aaron Kuhl and Andrija Novakovich are also out of contract but not currently on loan. The situation with Kuhl is a strange one, with many fans holding high hopes for the midfielder following a supposed first team breakthrough in 2014. But it appears now, with the likes of Josh Barrett and Liam Kelly overtaking him in the pecking order and a couple of loan spells not working out, it might be best for his career if he has a fresh start elsewhere. Novakovich and especially Dickie seem promising, so I would hand new deals to both.

Frozen out

One name instantly jumps to mind here and that's Sandro Wieser, but you'd be forgiven for forgetting all about him. Signed from FC Thun in the summer, he is yet to make a first team appearance, despite being named on the bench seven times. Even his game time for the Under 23s has been limited, with the Liechtenstein international making just two EFL Trophy appearances and four Premier League appearances, scoring once and getting sent off once.

Danzell Gravenberch has featured slightly more than Wieser but is another summer signing who is now looking pretty pointless. An appearance during the thrashing at Norwich at the weekend confirmed that he was indeed still alive, but you can't see him becoming a first team regular any time soon.

Paolo Hurtado will surely depart the club this summer having spent the season on loan at Vitoria de Guimaraes. Having said that, Jaap Stam didn't completely rule the winger out of his plans when questioned about him last month.

Following Brian McDermott's (re)arrival at the club in December 2015, it looked as though Jonathan Bond might well cement himself as Reading's long term number one keeper. But fast forward 16 months and Ali Al-Habsi has one Player of the Season award and is on the verge of picking up another, whilst Bond is behind the Omani, Anssi Jaakkola and perhaps even youngster George Legg in the pecking order. A loan spell at Gillingham earlier in the season didn't seem to help his confidence, and I would be incredibly surprised to see him still in Berkshire next season.

I'm also adding Jake Cooper and Dominic Samuel (currently out on loan at Millwall and Ipswich respectively) to this section with caution. Cooper is doing pretty well at the Den, which could encourage Stam, who didn't seem to be a fan of the 22-year-old, to give him another chance. Samuel had a decent run in the team before Christmas, but at 23 years old he now needs to prove he can be a regular Championship goalscorer. A move away might be for the best.

Game time limited by injury

Injury is an unfortunate occurrence that can happen to any player (more likely to some than others), and it has meant that both Stephen Quinn and Deniss Rakels have missed the majority of this season, leaving their futures at Reading in doubt.

Quinn is a player who impressed many fans in his debut campaign in a Royals shirt in 2015/16 and started the current season in the starting line-up, but apart from an appearance against Arsenal in late October, the Irishman has been sidelined with a knee problem since the end of September. It is a similar injury to one that kept him out for three months of last season, meaning Reading now potentially have a player with a recurring injury issue on their books. Furthermore, if and when Quinn does come back in to the side, he will have to fight for his place in an already competitive midfield.

Rakels meanwhile has not featured for the first team since injuring his ankle against MK Dons in August, yet in recent weeks has played for the Under 23s as well as Latvia in the international break. Does this eight month absence still guarantee him a place in Jaap Stam’s plans? He's unlikely to start up front ahead of Yann Kermorgant, whilst on the wing he'll have to contend with Messrs McCleary, Beerens, Popa, Harriott and Meite. His return of three goals in 17 Royals games isn't great, so could he move on?

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Which of the players discussed do you think could leave Reading this summer? Or are there any others who you think will depart? Let us know in the comments below.