Reading are facing a battle to keep hold of Danny Loader this summer, with Goal naming no fewer than nine clubs as interested in signing the 18-year-old.
He has caught the eye of a number of Europe’s top clubs after breaking through in Berkshire last season, making 22 appearances and scoring his first goal for the Royals in sublime fashion against Middlesbrough in April. Loader has also scored four times in 10 games for England’s Under-19 side, having previously won the World Cup with the Under-17s.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester City and Southampton are reportedly ready to offer Loader the opportunity to play in the Premier League, or the striker could add to the growing number of young English players moving abroad with Juventus, Borussia Monchengladbach, Rennes and Lille among a number of European clubs tracking his progress.
It’s little wonder he’s in such high demand, not only because of his undoubted potential, but because he could be available for a cut-price fee. Loader has just one year on his current contract at the Madejski Stadium, and Goal suggest that £3 million may be enough to make Reading sell up.
It puts the Royals in a difficult position, as the striker is probably valued higher than that figure but with finances tight and money needed to strengthen the squad this summer, we could be forced to let Loader leave. The ideal scenario in that instance would be to hope that a bidding war commences between interested clubs and the price rises as much as possible.
It also comes down to what Loader believes is best for his future. He certainly isn’t ready for top-flight football yet and would likely be sent out on loan if he did join one of Europe’s elite. That would position Reading as the best place to continue his development, potentially allowing the club to receive more money for him in 12 months time. For that to happen though, those behind the scenes in RG2 would need to offer him a much improved new contract.
We certainly get the feeling that this won’t be the last rumour on the youngster this summer...