If you thought Reading Football Club were in dire financial straits this summer, you’d be right. If you thought that meant we wouldn’t be spending £5million on a striker, you’d be wrong - as it turns out.
According to reports in both the Berkshire and Sheffield local press, Sheffield Wednesday forward Lucas Joao is nearing a move to Reading. The Star say he will undergo a medical on Tuesday before signing for a ‘substantial fee’, which GetReading place at £5m.
Why are we signing him? Joao has been a fairly regular goalscorer for Wednesday over the past two seasons, scoring 19 goals in that time while not always being a first-team regular, and Jose Gomes appears to be a big fan.
At 6ft 3in, the Portuguese forward is a commanding presence up front and Gomes may seek to play off him in the way he has done in the past with Nelson Oliveira and Yakou Meite. Plus, he banged in a real tidy finish against Reading on the weekend and nothing makes you want the person you fancy more than seeing them than seeing them smash home a half-volley on the turn from 18 yards.
Can we actually afford him? There is always some transfer trickery going on with these deals and the theory holds that it will give Wednesday the funds to sign Michael Hector from Chelsea. As a former Royal, their relatively big money signing will be funelled partly to Reading via his sell-on fee.
That cash could combine with paying the Joao fee in installments - a la Arsenal and Nicolas Pepe - lessening the impact on this season’s FFP calculations.
And there’s also pure survival to think about. If Gomes thinks this deal will get us over the line in terms of staying in the Championship, the club would probably agree it’s less of a gamble than some might think.
Who’s this Pele bloke? Monaco midfielder Pele is set to sign on loan for the coming season. A spell at Nottingham Forest last season saw the Guinea-Bissau international, 27, play just eight times in a pretty turbulent and miserable time for the club as a whole.
Still, only last year he was worth almost £10m by the Ligue 1 side after a great stint at Rio Ave. A bit of a journeyman, the former AC Milan and Benfica player is said to be a strong, defensive midfielder.
Oh, and we’re about to sign goalkeeper Rafael after Sampdoria allowed him to leave for free. Busy busy!