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Royals join race to sign Ince

Published: 28 Jan 2013 09:300 comments

ROYALS boss Brian McDermott is confident of adding more fresh faces to his squad before Thursday's transfer deadline.

Deadline drama: Brian McDermott hopes to sign at least one more player before Thursday's 11pm transfer deadline. Pic: Alicia Field.

McDermott has brought in three new signings already following the capture of Fulham's Stephen Kelly, Sporting Lisbon's Daniel Carrico and Crawley Town's Hope Akpan.

Now the Reading manager is poised to draft in more reinforcements, though he will have to do so before tomorrow night's 11pm cut-off point.

Reports suggest McDermott failed with a £6 million bid for sought-after Blackpool midfielder Tom Ince over the weekend and now faces competition from ex-Royals boss Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.

Whether Reading win the battle for 20-year-old Ince remains to be seen, but it appears McDermott is likely to do some late business before the deadline.

"We may be one of those clubs doing something really late at ten minutes to eleven at night which isn't normally us," stated McDermott.

"If it happens we'll be really pleased. Something could happen, both in and out. We're looking at a couple of things. We've been working on things for a few weeks, whether it happens, we'll see."

Reading could be ready to offload out-of-favour duo Jay Tabb and Simon Church in a bid to free up funds.

Midfielder Tabb's contract will not be renewed this summer and the 28-year-old has been told he is free to leave Madejski Stadium.

Wales striker Church, 24, has refused to sign a new deal with the Royals in a bid to find regular first-team football elsewhere.

But one player who definitely won't be leaving Berkshire this week is winger Jimmy Kebe.

The good-humoured Royal caused a stir last week when he tweeted he was poised to become the next Frenchman to sign for Alan Pardew's Newcastle United.

The news was reported by the national media forcing Kebe to backtrack, claiming it was only meant as a joke.

McDermott certainly saw the humourous side, saying: "He's a very funny man. People can take it as they want, and I hope it was taken in the right manner, I thought it was funny.

"In football sometimes at this level we all take ourselves far too seriously, but we don't here. Jimmy is a leader for me, a great guy, a funny guy and a great player.

"It's part of his character you don't always see. He's becoming a cult figure for us now."

Kebe was rested last Saturday for Reading's 4-0 victory over Sheffield United in the FA Cup fourth round.

However, the 29-year-old could be back in the side tonight for Reading's Premier League clash against Chelsea at Madejski Stadium on Wednesday night (8pm ko).

Pavel Pogrebnyak, Danny Guthrie, Alex Pearce and Ian Harte could also return as Royals go in search of a third straight Premier League victory.

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