Reading have ramped up their summer purge, with it being revealed that four more players will be let go in the coming weeks. Chris Gunter, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Sam Baldock and Luke Southwood have all been told that their futures lie elsewhere.
This is according to Get Reading reporter Jonathan Low, who broke the news about the first three today - the same day that the senior squad started pre-season training. He had already mentioned Southwood's future in a tweet at the weekend.
Quick few bits of #readingfc news - Jordan Obita is set to return to training on Monday with the rest of the first team squad. But goalkeeper Luke Southwood - whose been back training with the u23s - will likely move on this summer after being told by the club he can leave— Jonathan Low (@jonathanl50) June 29, 2019
Low explained that Gunter, Bodvarsson and Baldock are part of "a select group who have been made to stay away from the club this week", presumably in an effort to let the squad prepare for the future without those present who aren't part of Jose Gomes' plans.
Some people on Twitter have suggested that Bodvarsson and Gunter could simply be out of training due to recuperating from international duty. However, Danny Loader took part in last month's Toulon Tournament and hasn't been time off.
If true, these players' exclusion is reminiscent of January, when a handful of fringe squad players were banished from first-team training before being let go. That was Marc McNulty, David Meyler, Vito Mannone and Dave Edwards.
Although the last two of those players are now elsewhere - Edwards rejoined Shrewsbury Town permanently while Mannone is on loan with Minnesota United - McNulty and Meyler are also thought to be excluded from training.
Hopefully, all excluded players will be able to find new clubs this summer - and the sooner the better. Gunter, Baldock, Bodvarsson, Meyler and McNulty take up significant wages that Reading need off the books before we can make new signings.
It should also be said that none of Gunter, Bodvarsson or Baldock are likely to be regular features in the team next season. As cover, they can probably be replaced by graduating academy players.
Southwood's future is an interesting case though. He's certainly a talented 'keeper, having appeared for England at youth level and impressing on loan in non-league last season. With Reading currently only having Sam Walker as an established goalkeeper, you would have thought that Southwood would be kept around.
Letting him go permanently doesn't really make much sense - unless there's another factor in play that we don't know about. He could be set on departing, or Gomes might simply not rate him. From my own loose understanding, the second of those isn't likely.