READING FC's longstanding search for a striker finally came to an end today (Wednesday) as frontman Chris Martin joined Royals on loan until the end of the season.

The Derby County striker, 29, will remain at Madejski Stadium until the end of the current Championship campaign after putting pen to paper on a loan deal earlier this afternoon.

Martin becomes Royals' second signing of the transfer window having already added Tommy Elphick on loan to boost their defensive ranks.

Jaap Stam said: "With the large number of games still to play this season, it was important to strengthen the attacking options available to us with a player who can add to what we already have within the squad.

"In Chris Martin, we have a striker who has proven his goalscoring ability at the clubs he has played for in the past and hopefully he can give us an extra impetus going forward and score goals for us.”

Martin was first linked with Royals earlier in the transfer window after the Rams snapped up Cameron Jerome from Norwich City FC.

The striker spent the majority of last season on loan at Fulham and missed a penalty in a 1-0 defeat against the Royals at Madejski Stadium.

Ron Gourlay added: “Goals win games and a striker with Chris’ track record can certainly deliver goals to our first team squad and provide an additional attacking option to the manager for the rest of this season.

"I am delighted to bring Chris to Reading Football Club and I am confident he can help us enjoy a successful second half to the season.”

Royals have seen two players depart the club however, with Adrian Popa heading to Saudi Arabia until the end of the season and Roy Beerens leaving on a permanent basis.

The Dutch winger joined Vitesse Arnhem on a three-and-a-half year deal earlier today having made just nine starts under Stam this season.

A club spokesman added: "Everyone at Reading, would like to wish Roy the very best of luck in Arnhem and in his future endeavours."