Take all the following with a pinch of salt, as a) it’s hard to verify and b) the source in question seems to love writing about Adrian Popa’s Reading future, but here goes. According to Romanian website Sport.Ro, Reading have had enough of Popa and are looking to get rid this month. This comes just a year after the winger signed for the Royals from Steaua Bucharest, but is perhaps unsurprising due to the underwhelming 12 months he’s had in Berkshire.
In fact, the piece claims that the club are so keen to shift the player that they’re willing to let him leave on a free transfer - just so that his wages aren’t on the books any longer. That pay is reportedly in the region of €825,000 per month - equating to roughly £14,000 per week. His contract is due to expire in the summer of 2020.
A relatively believable rumour
Despite not really having any major fitness problems since joining a year ago, Popa has struggled for game time at Reading. He’s only played six times in the Championship so far this season, added to another eight in the back half of 2016/17. In total, he’s found the net just once - a 95-minute tap-in on the counter at Sheffield Wednesday last March.
Although some impressive displays from Modou Barrow haven’t helped Popa, the indifferent form of Sone Aluko and Roy Beerens, combined with injuries for Garath McCleary and Callum Harriott, should have given him more minutes in the first team. He even looked pretty dangerous in the home match against Aston Villa, providing a sharp, pacey presence down the left wing that Reading have often lacked. Here’s what Marc said in his player ratings about Popa that day:
“Arguably the best performance the Romanian has given in a Reading shirt. Dominated the left wing and created for others as well as himself, including the opener, taking a number of strikes on goal as the opportunity presented itself.”
However, for whatever reason, the Romanian international isn’t fancied by Jaap Stam, so it’s probably for the best if he moves on. With Garath McCleary coming back into fitness, Popa is unlikely to have much joy this season.
H/T @Maffff on Twitter.
Popa’s career stats come from Transfermarkt.