Talks are underway between the two Premier League new boys as Hammers look to bring in some cash after a summer of spending
Rouble rouser: Reading are eager to spend their Russian gajillions on Cole
Reading are preparing to move for West Ham striker Carlton Cole in what would be one of their most-expensive transfers ever.
Brian McDermott’s Royals have opened talks to land the England target man, who is available from Sam Allardyce’s club following their own summer spending spree.
The Russian-backed Premier League new boys will pay a fee rising to £5million for Cole, as well as picking up his salary – which is close to another£3m a season.
It is a major break from the policy of sensible signings in Reading’s recent past, but there is enough cash for a dip into the market that could make them fortunes if they survive in the top flight until next term, when a massive new TV deal kicks in.
Cole has had fitness problems and the fee will include staged payments, but there is a good chance that the full value will be achieved if he is a Royals regular.
The 28-year-old forward has been available for weeks as part of the Irons’ busy wheeling and dealing.
Cole was in and out of the Hammers’ promotion-winning Championship side last term.
And Reading will try and finalise a deal this weekend, ahead of the transfer window shutting.