The Championship playoff final was said to be worth £90m and with that, it could be said that finalists Reading lost out big time when they lost 4-2 to Swansea a couple of weeks ago. However, it now looks as though that defeat could have even more of an impact on the club, with manager Brian McDermott revealing that it might prove impossible to keep hold of star striker Shane Long.
Since signing in 2005, Long has made a massive impact at the Madejski Stadium having bagged fifty four goals. However, this season has been particularly successful for the former Cork City man, after he bagged twenty eight as Reading went on to finish the campaign in 5th.
With that, there has of course been plenty of transfer successful. Transfer fees in the region of £5m have been branded about, while the likes of Celtic, Everton and Newcastle have all been linked with the 24-year-old.
Unfortunately for Reading, their failure to net promotion means that the chances of Long starting the season as a Royal have diminished drastically. Manager Brian McDermott seems to realize this and speaking to BBC Berkshire, he said: “If a Premier League club comes in and we decide the deal is right and Shane wants to go there’s nothing we can do.
“It’s important I do the right thing by him as well. For me he’ll go down as a very special Reading player. ”
If Long does make the top flight move, he would join a host of other players who have made the step up to the Premier League this summer. Out of the top seven Championship goal scorers incredibly only one of them appears to be remaining in the division next season. Grant Holt, Scott Sinclair and Adel Taarabt have all been promoted with their respective clubs, while Jay Bothroyd is set to leave Cardiff in a few weeks once his contract expires. With Danny Graham also on the verge of a big money transfer to newly-promoted Norwich, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if the list becomes Long-er, pardon the pun.