Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughReading face fight to keep Kebe as they look at striker - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Reading face fight to keep Kebe as they look at striker - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Reading face fight to keep Kebe as they look at striker

Reading manager Brian McDermott has encountered another obstacle in his bid to keep hold of midfielder Jimmy Kebe as Premier League side Stoke are the latest club to announce their interest in the Malian winger who is out of contract in the summer.

The 27 year old has been subject of enquiries from West Ham as Sam Allardyce looks to boost his promotion seeking squad with Kebe, who has made 20 appearances for the Royals so far this season, helping them to fifth place in the table.

Allardyce has already had an offer in the region of £750k rejected for Kebe but is rumoured to be stepping up his interest after he bemoaned his team’s lack of cutting edge as they dropped out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. It is believed that Allardyce is willing to stretch to £2 million, but now faces competition from Stoke who are looking for extra resources to assist with their participation in the Europa League knockout stages.

McDermott has made it clear he wants to keep Jimmy, who has also attracted attention from rivals Leicester City, and has persuaded the board to come back with an improved two and a half year deal for the player who rejected what was described as the “club’s final offer” a few months ago.  “I have spoken to Jimmy and I want him to stay” said McDermott, but it looks as though his contract dispute will have to be sorted quickly in order to fend off any potential suitors.

Reading have been rumoured to be in for a potential move for Shamrock Rovers striker Karl Sheppard who was an integral part of the Irish club’s Europa League campaign, scoring in the defeat away at PAOK Salonika.

The 20 year old has hit 9 goals in 23 appearances for the Irish League side this season and could be the latest success story to emanate from Reading’s Irish scouting network, following in the footsteps of Kevin Doyle and Shane Long, who have both moved on to the Premier League.

Also at the Madejski, goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has signed a new contract which will see him through to 2015. The England under-21 international is highly rated and part of an impressive goalkeeping unit at the club, together with Adam Federici and Mikkel Andersen. Whilst securing his immediate future, the club have also ensured his short-term experience by loaning him out to fellow Championship side Ipswich Town.


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