It’s the transfer saga that now has some serious legs to it as Jaap Stam admits Reading are interested in Sone Aluko, amid reports that Fulham have rebuffed a number of bids for the winger.
Although there are just 12 months left on his current contract, Cottagers boss Slavisa Jokanovic is hoping he doesn’t have to sell up as this one seems set to rumble on for the remainder of the window.
"Everyone knows what type of system Aluko plays in,” Stam told reporters on Wednesday. “If he was here he would fit into our style of play [and] he would be interesting for us."
With a number of players, particularly attackers, touted for a switch to the Madejski Stadium, the Dutchman admitted that a lot of deals have struggled to get off the ground.
"A lot of players have been mentioned and a lot are on the list,” he continued. "I know the club has been in talks with certain players but it's difficult to get players in for certain reasons.
"We have spoken about what we can do and we don't have a budget where we can spend loads and loads of money. We need to be creative and inventive to bring players in and that's what we are trying to do.
"But we don't have the money like other teams to spend around £7-10 million on one player. We don't have the luxury to do that."
Sone Speaks Out
Also of note to Reading fans may be some quotes Aluko himself gave ahead of the new campaign, expressing how the Royals’ Wembley loss to Huddersfield was integral to how he got over Fulham’s own play-off heartbreak at his potential new club’s hands.
“Huddersfield beat Reading, they were up and that was closure,” Aluko said in an interview with City A.M. “After that, you go on holiday, you move on and start looking forward to next season. It was pretty quick.
“Of course, there was a sense of disappointment, but that’s football. Every time you play, you’ve got to earn the right to win, you can’t base it off what we did before — winning 5-0 [at home to Reading], 5-0 and 4-1 [away to Huddersfield] — you have to go out there and keep doing it every time. They earned the right to be there.”