Reading Football Club have broken out the chequebook to sign Lucas Joao from Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £5million. It’s been a busy day in the market for the Royals, with deals completed for Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael and Monaco midfielder Pele.
The Portuguese striker, who earned two international caps in 2015, signs a four-year contract after quickfire negotiations. Jose Gomes is clearly a fan of the towering forward and watched him net the third goal against the Royals on Saturday. He told the official site:
“I am delighted Lucas has agreed to be part of what we’re trying to build here at Reading. A striker I have admired for some time, he has a commanding presence up front and, with a natural eye for goal, he is a player who is very difficult to defend against. So I’m looking forward to working with Lucas in training for the first time tomorrow.”
Can we actually afford him? As Marc explained earlier, there is some transfer trickery which can make sense of splashing the cash at this stage of a very tense summer.
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.