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Adrian Popa Won’t Decide Future Until July

The Romanian has been transfer listed by Reading.

FK Partizan v Steaua Bucharest - UEFA Champions League: Third Qualifying Round 2nd Leg Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Transfer listed winger Adrian Popa has told media in his homeland of Romania that he will wait until July to decide where he will be playing next season.

Speaking to Sport.ro, Popa suggested that he would find it difficult to turn down the chance to return to former club Steaua Bucharest but that a decision was not imminent.

“You can never refuse an offer [from Steaua], but at 31 years old it’s harder to get the offer there,” he said. ”We are not expecting a phone call from Mr. Becali [the club’s owner]. I am on vacation for the time being, we will see in July”.

This goes against Reading’s reported intention to try and get rid of Popa before the end of June - along with the likes of Marc McNulty and David Meyler - in order to end the soft transfer embargo they have been placed under by the EFL. Until that trio are off the club’s books, as well as a few others, new signings will be hard to come by.

Popa’s delay is unlikely to go down well in Berkshire, but of course it could be the case that no one actually wants him as he’s hardly caught the eye much over the last couple of years. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Ludogorets, making 13 appearances and failing to score as they won the Bulgarian league title, but they have already confirmed that they will not be looking to re-sign him for the new campaign.

A return to Bucharest also seems unlikely, despite Popa being linked there almost every transfer window. However, these rumours appear just to be the press making the obvious connection of a former player struggling abroad. As Popa admits, he’s now the wrong side of 30, while he would almost certainly struggle to get into the team - another Romanian site Fanatik suggest that he would be backup to Dennis Man at best. The same outlet report that Popa could even end up terminating his contract in Berkshire.

The 31-year-old has not played for Reading since a five minute cameo against Bolton last August, which was only his 17th appearance in total for the club since arriving in January 2017. He has scored just once, away to Sheffield Wednesday, and also spent time on loan at Saudi Arabian side Al-Taawoun in the second half of the 2017-18 season.