News and Views

Panic Over - McShane Signs And Al Habsi On Trial

02 July 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

A week ago there was plenty of reason for concern with players continuing to leave the club but not a single signing in the other direction. However three decent signings in a short space of time have eased the concerns ahead of the upcoming new Championship season. First striker Orlando Sa was confirmed from Legia Warsaw, and that was quickly followed by Hull City midfielder Stephen Quinn. Now the signing of defender Paul McShane has also been confirmed. Like Quinn, McShane is 29 years old, is an Ireland international, and comes from Hull City after his contract with the club finished. The similarities don't end their either with Paul McShane also signing a contract to keep him with the Royals for three years.

Both Quinn and McShane have plenty of experience in the Premier League and also at International level. McShane has played 37 times for Ireland and remains a regular in the Irish set-up. McShane started his professional career after signing terms with Manchester United. However, he failed to make the grade at United and found himself shipped out on loan to Walsall and Brighton before moving to West Bromwich Albion when the Red Devils failed to renew his contract.

An impressive 2006/2007 season at Albion saw Sunderland pay 2.5 million pounds for his services in the summer of 2007. An eventual loan to Hull City for the 2008/2009 season saw Hull make his move permanent in the summer of 2009. McShane had further loan spells at Barnsley and Crystal Palace before becoming a fixture in the Hull squad. McShane made 119 starts for the Tigers in a career that includes 270 club appearances and 14 goals.

Speaking after completing his move to Reading, McShane said: "It's been going on for a few weeks and I'm glad to get it over the line. Reading is such a good club, I know lads who have played for the club before, they have given me great reports, and when I first found out Reading were interested, Steve Clarke came over to Dublin and met up with me there when I was with the Irish team, that was a good gesture... For the manager to do that makes a massive difference. I want to be wanted, to play first team football and be a big part of the club."

Reading's collection of a defender, midfielder and striker in the space of a week will do plenty to restore some confidence in what's going on behind the scenes at Reading. However, the Royals still need to find that elusive, and essential, goalkeeper to complete the set. With that in mind, the club have confirmed goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi is training at the club with the view of a possible move.

33 year old Al Habsi made 134 appearances for Wigan Athletic after they paid four million pounds in 2011 to sign him from Bolton. His first season at Wigan saw him voted as player of the season. Despite his previous success at the club he was not offered a new contract by Wigan this summer and is now hunting for a new contract elsewhere. With Reading desperate for a goalkeeper it seems very likely he will become Reading's fourth signing after his current trial with the club. Although Sa is likely to cost up to 1 million pounds in transfer fees, the other three players arrive all out of contract as Steve Clarke continues to assemble his new squad on a limited budget.

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Quinn Becomes Second Summer Signing

30 June 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Midfielder Stephen Quinn became Reading's second confirmed signing in two days this afternoon as he completed his move from just relegated Hull City. Quinn's contract had finished with the Tigers so he joins on a free transfer and signs a three year contract with the Royals. Quinn's arrival coincides the imminent deperature of Jem Karacan who is set to join Galatasaray as his contract expires with Reading.

Quinn comes to Reading with plenty of experience having spent seven years with Sheffield United before a move to Hull City where he has been for the past three seasons. He also spent loan spells at MK Dons and Rotherham in his early career while with Sheffield United. Quinn, 29 years old, has already clocked up 371 professional appearances and scored 27 goals. Quinn has also regularly featured for Ireland and has 12 caps.

Last season he made 34 appearances for club and country, picking up a single red card against Leicester and scoring once in a 1-3 home defeat to Arsenal.

Like Sa, Quinn has been a Reading FC transfer target for some time and had been expected to sign over the past few weeks before the club eventually confirmed the move. With Hull reported to be trying to secure a new deal with the player, Clarke was clearly pleased to confirm Reading's latest capture: "When I knew Stephen was available, I targeted him quite early in the summer. His performances are always of a good standard and he is a talented, industrious, aggressive midfielder who can be influential in games."

Orlando Sa Confirmed As Three Year Contract

29 June 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Striker Orlando Sa's transfer from Polish side Legia Warsaw to Reading FC has finally been officially confirmed. The transfer had been known for some time as a certainty, with the player confirming he was on the move last week, but there was quite a wait for the club to announce he'd signed his contract. He joins Reading on a three year deal to keep him at the club until the summer of 2018. As usual the transfer fee is "undisclosed" but is thought to be 750K pounds rising up to 1 million depending on his time at the club.

The former Limassol and Fulham player becomes Reading's first signing since the close of the season, and he joins at a time when several long-term players have already left the club. Jem Karacan is expected to soon complete his move to Turkish side Galatasaray as he follows players Alex Pearce and Federici outwards, after they also turned down new contract offers. Although money is clearly very tight at the club, the Royals will have to source further players before the new season starts. Orlando Sa should be the first of several signings, which will also have to include a new goalkeeper.

The Royals also are set to complete the transfer of Hull City and Ireland midfielder Stephen Quinn this week. Quinn is out of contract with Hull City but appears set to move to Reading rather than sign a new deal with The Tigers. His contract status means he will be available on a free transfer. Quinn will also be offered a three year contract with Reading.

Quinn has spent most of his career with Sheffield United where we clocked up 236 appearances over a seven year spell beginning in 2005. He moved on to Hull City in 2012 where he also became a regular fixture in the side and featured heavily in last season's Premier League campaign giving him plenty of experience at the top level of the English game. Hull were narrowly relegated at the end of the season so Quinn will get to play his old side this season.

While Reading fans wait for official confirmation of Quinn, Sa is expected to travel with his new team mates on next week's short tour of Thailand. It's possible that both new players could play in the friendly against a Thai Premier League XI side.

Orlando Sa Arrives At Reading FC

26 June 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading FC are set to finally unveil new signing Orlando Sa, as the player arrives into the UK to sign his new contract with the club. He has already completed his medical, and should follow that by completing his transfer. Orlando Sa will be Reading's first incoming player of the summer and is expected to join for a transfer fee rising to 1 million pounds from current club, Polish side Legia Warsaw.

The 27 year old striker has had a limited number of appearances at the highest level, and is known to English fans for a short spell at then Premier League side Fulham during the 2011/2012 season. Last season was by far his most successful hitting 15 goals in 39 appearances for Legia Warsaw, although nearly half of those appearances were from the bench. He began his career in his home country of Portugal at Braga before moving to Porto. His potential back then saw him earn his single senior International cap after impressing in the Portuguese under-21s. However, he only managed a single competitive appearance for Porto before moving on to join Nacional. That was followed with his season at Fulham before a year and a half at AEL Limassol.

After finding the net just once while at Fulham in 12 games, he finally broke through while at Limassol. His year at Legia Warsaw has finally seen himself establish himself as a regular player for a side - and he finished as top scorer and earned himself a good reputation - and obviously the attention of the Royals.

One of the big mysteries around the player is why Legia Warsaw are happy to let their top scorer go, and why he spent so much of the season on the bench despite his obvious goal scoring ability. In his first three games at Legia Warsaw he hit five goals, yet still struggled to hold a starting place in the side. One reviews from Poland are glowing: "He has everything. Technical abilities, positioning, physicality, strength, first touch, he is good in the air."

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Will Orlando Sa be a good signing for Reading FC?
Will Reading complete the signing successfully?