After unconfirmed reports on Sunday from the Sunderland Echo that Reading had accepted a ‘six-figure’ bid from Sunderland for midfielder George Evans, it has now been revealed by our SB Nation cousins Roker Report that a fee does seem to have indeed been agreed between the two clubs.
They claim that the 23-year-old (who has just a year left on his Royals contract) will now fly black from the Austria training camp to undergo a medical, with personal terms not expected to be issue. It must be noted though that Evans will at least stay with the Reading squad until tomorrow, having travelled to Graz for the friendly with Besiktas, which kicks off at 6pm UK time.
On the face of it, it is a transfer makes sense for all parties. Excluding his 30+ matches in 2016/17, Evans has failed to secure regular first team football during his time at Reading. That wasn’t helped by recurring injuries last season, but he’s still been overlooked by both Jaap Stam and Paul Clement when he has been fit.
Despite seemingly being popular among the fanbase - at least on social media - that lack of faith under consecutive managers speaks volumes. The exact reasons that Stam and Clement have had for not playing Evans are unclear, but that two different bosses have come to the same conclusion on the same player suggests there is a good reason why the Manchester City academy graduate is on his way to the third-tier Mackems.
As the Echo pointed out, Clement has highlighted the squad’s abundance of central midfielders:
“If you add up the amount of midfielders that we have and whether I play with two midfielders or three midfielders, there’s a lot more midfielders than there are places on the pitch.”
Besides Evans, the Royals can also count on: Liam Kelly, Leandro Bacuna, David Meyler, John Swift, Pelle Clement, Dave Edwards, Andy Rinomhota and Josh Barrett. Stephen Quinn and Sandro Wieser have been released, Danzell Gravenberch was sent out on loan to Belgium, whilst Joey van den Berg is expected to return to the Netherlands - also on a loan deal.
This also comes after Yann Kermorgant was let go last week. The Frenchman agreed to a termination of his contract with the club, and could now retire.