Paul Clement admits Reading FC are under pressure to find a new striker
- Simeon Pickup
- 28 June 2018, 4:00
Reading manager Paul Clement leading pre-season training at Hogwood. Credit: Eddie Greville
Paul Clement has confirmed Reading's main target this summer is to bring in at least one striker.
The manager, who was speaking to the media for the first time in this pre-season, made it clear the priority is to add firepower to a side that lacked goals in their miserable 2017/18 campaign.
Royals currently only have Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Yann Kermorgant as established forwards at the club, although youngsters Sam Smith and Danny Loader made their debuts last season.
Andrija Novakovich joined Fortuna Sittard on loan last week, while Deniss Rakels and Joseph Mendes have been released after failing to impress in Berkshire.
Clement admitted Reading have a pressing need for a new frontman, but also accepted that big transfer fees make finalising deals "complicated".
"We move into a critical period now where we’re looking to do something in the striker position, and hopefully that will be more than one player," he said.
"We've been working all summer on this, and when you start to deal with players where transfer fees are involved, it does start to become a little more complicated.
"But we're very confident that we're going to bring in one or two really good players in the central position."
Peterborough's Jack Marriott is just one of the forwards to be linked with Reading this summer. Credit: Getty
The former Derby County and Swansea City boss also accepted the club has limits on its ability to recruit a new striker.
"We have to be realistic in terms of budget, in terms of financial fair play, in terms of who you can attract to this club," he added.
"But I think we'll bring in players that will make us competitive."
No changes at the back
The manager was also keen to quash speculation of any incomings our outgoings for Reading in the defence.
Player of the season Liam Moore has been strongly linked with a big-money move to Brighton and Hove Albion, while Tommy Elphick has reportedly been a target to replace him.
However, Clement stressed that Reading are set on keeping Moore at the club, and would therefore have no need for another centre half.
"No news [on Elphick] at the moment," he said, "and as we speak we’ve got four central defenders in O’Shea, Moore, McShane and also Ilori as well, so if that stays as it is then there won't be a need to add another centre back.
"The club don't want to sell Liam, and hopefully that'll be the case.
"He's a really good player, did really well all last season, did really well in the eight games I was here last year, and he'll be a big part of us moving forward."
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