Sone Aluko’s disappointing 18 months at Reading have come to an end (for now), with the 30-year-old finalising a loan deal to join Chinese Super League side Beijing Renhe until the end of 2019.
Aluko signed for the Royals from Fulham in the summer of 2017 for a reported record fee of around £7.5 million, but failed to impress during the majority of his spell in Berkshire, with the team as a whole facing relegation worries for virtually the whole of his time here. He departs having made 60 appearances in total, scoring just four goals.
The specifics of his move are intriguing, with Beijing Renhe owned by Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li, the brother and sister who of course also own Reading. One of Jose Gomes’ main aims since arriving at Reading has been cutting down his playing squad, so this may just be an easy way to do that, but there have also been suggestions that Aluko’s switch to Asia may have been sanctioned with Financial Fair Play in mind.
It is not be the first time that players have left Reading for a club with links to the owners, with Danzell Gravenberch, Sandro Wieser and Darren Sidoel all having loan spells at KSV Roeselare in recent years, the Belgian side owned by Dai Xiu Li. It is also a regular occurrence between the clubs that the Pozzo family own: Watford, Udinese and formerly Granada.