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Four Strikers Reading Could Sign This January

Following Lucas Joao’s injury, here is a look at four out-of-favour strikers that Reading could potentially sign on loan or on the cheap this month.

Reading v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Martin Willetts/Getty Images

Glenn Murray

Number one is veteran Brighton and Hove Albion talisman Glenn Murray. The 36 year-old has proved his ability on a number of occasions, playing a huge part in the Seagulls’ recent success in the top division.

Murray enjoyed a brilliant season last year, but has struggled to make an impact under Graham Potter this season. He has started only a handful of games in the Premier League and has been strongly linked with a move away from the club this January. The majority of bookmakers have the Royals down as favourites to land the Englishman’s signature. The move would most likely be a loan move until the Summer but Murray is reportedly available on a permanent deal for just £500k, and looking to sign on for 18 months.

Royals fans may remember Glenn Murray having a stint on loan at the Mad Stad in the first half of the 2014/15 season. Murray scored eight goals in four months in Berkshire, proving fairly prolific.

Glenn Murray would be a solid option to come in at least for a few months at Reading. He is a born goalscorer and would suit the Royals’ current system, as well as being able to play up top as a lone striker, as Lucas Joao did prior to his injury.

Jonathan Kodjia

The Villa striker has fallen out of favour over the past year or so and is yet to start a single Premier League game this season. Kodjia has already proven himself as a Championship striker; he has enjoyed successful seasons with Bristol City and Aston Villa, including finishing as both clubs’ top scorer on two occasions. However, Dean Smith is yet to offer Kodjia a chance to prove himself in England’s top tier, despite first-choice striker Wesley being ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Kodjia will be keen to get back to playing regular football again and, with Reading in need of another striker in Joao’s absence, could the Mad Stad be the perfect chance to get his career back on track?

Fulham FC v Aston Villa - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

The Ivorian has just six months remaining on his current deal. When asked about Kodjia’s future at the club, Dean Smith replied:

“Any player at any club, if a deal is given and it’s right for the selling club and buying club, then any of the players could (leave). But, will he go? I don’t know, that’s the honest answer.”

The striker has been linked with various Championship clubs, including Nottingham Forest. The deal would be a relatively inexpensive one, if not a loan; certainly nowhere near the £15m fee that Villa paid for him in 2016.

Leon Clarke

Clarke has understandably struggled for minutes since Sheffield United’s promotion; he has appeared just once as a substitute in the Premier League so far. Admittedly, his career has begun to peter out; he is now 34 years old and may struggle to play week in, week out. However, the striker’s record in the Championship speaks for itself: just two years ago Clarke finished the season as third-top goalscorer with an impressive tally of 19. The following season he contributed towards 11 goals, including a loan spell with Wigan Athletic.

With Clarke unable to find a way in to the team at Bramall Lane, could he have an impact in the Championship once again with play-off chasing Reading? Sheffield United certainly aren’t short of options up top, with the likes of Sharp, McBurnie, Mousset and McGoldrick all performing above expectations.

As a result, the Royals would most likely be able to sign Clarke on a free or for a minimal figure. It is also possible that Sheffield United would be willing to allow Clarke to leave on loan for the good of his career. This would also mean the Blades could shift some of his wages on to Reading’s wage bill for a few months.

The Wolverhampton-born forward certainly still has a point to prove, but could it be with the Royals?

Sheffield United v AFC Flyde - FA Cup Third Round Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Eddie Nketiah

Nketiah spent the first half of the season on loan with title-chasing Leeds United. Unfortunately for him, Bamford was number one and Nketiah therefore found it hard to force his way into the first team. There were plenty of calls for the young forward to get more game time, particularly during Bamford’s early dry spell, but they were consistently ignored by Bielsa. Nketiah showed his class when he did play; he acted mostly as a poacher, always in the right place at the right time.

Arsenal made the decision to recall the 20 year-old due to his lack of game time. It is believed they are keen to send him back out on loan for the second half of the season, with multiple Championship clubs showing interest. Nketiah started just four games with United and scored five goals, twice in the Carabao Cup.

It is understood that Bristol City are showing sufficient interest in signing Arsenal’s bright prospect. However, the Gunners will want to ensure Nketiah gets a significant amount of game time wherever they send him. With Joao out for the foreseeable future, could the Mad Stad be where Nketiah really makes his name?