Doyle has his pick as clubs line up to nab himBy Nick Ive
June 24, 2009
Kevin Doyle is being chased by around half a dozen clubs this summer.
As we revealed two weeks ago, Reading had resigned themselves to losing their star man, who has a £6.5million escape clause in his current contract at Madejski Stadium.
And there is no shortage of interested parties.
Wolves have already opened talks with him, but Fulham, Bolton and Sunderland are very much firmly in the hunt, while Aston Villa and Everton are thought to be monitoring his situation.
Doyle would much prefer a move to a bigger club like Everton or Villa, but Fulham would also be appealing as he is settled in the area.
Brendan Rodgers does not want to lose the Republic of Ireland international, but he knows he is fighting a losing battle to keep hold of him.
Doyle is happy at Madejski Stadium and has never asked for a move.
However, the prospect of a second season in the Championship is not appealing for last season’s 18-goal leading scorer and with the 2010 World Cup Finals on the horizon Doyle wants to be back in the Premier League.
Rodgers told the Post: “I plan to talk to Kevin when I get back. I was aware before I was appointed manager that Kevin and one or two others were likely to move on.
“I certainly won’t stand in his way. He is a Premier League player who wants to play in the Premier League.
“I would love him to stay, but in this case it may be difficult as it looks like his destiny is the Premier League. He is a good age, but the club will get a good return on what they paid out for him.”
Doyle has proved to be one of the club’s most astute signings of modern times.
He cost around £78,000 when he joined from Eircom League side Cork City in June 2005 along with fellow countryman Shane Long. And if and when he leaves for £6.5million that would be the biggest fee Royals have ever received for one of their players.
The Adamstown-born ace made an instant impact, scoring 19 goals as Reading romped to the Championship title with a record breaking 106 points.
Doyle then rattled in 13 goals in his first season in the Premier League as Royals’ stunning success continued with an eighth place finish.
And Rodgers added: “He has got to be one of the best signings in the club’s history.
“I would love to have the opportunity to work with him. Everything I hear about him is good. I understand he is the ultimate professional and he prepares himself in a similar manner to the top players.
“Like all big professionals he is serious about his work and is ambitious.”
Reading’s director of football Nick Hammond also knows Reading have all but lost their battle to keep hold of the star striker.
However, he denied that a move to Wolves was anywhere near sealed.
“A lot of people have contacted me with reference to Kevin but nothing is imminent,” said Hammond.
“There is a lot of interest in the boy. I have always maintained we’ll say something when it’s happened but at this stage there is just a lot of speculation and that will get stronger in the next few weeks.”
Hammond added: “Kevin is a professional. He goes about his business in the right way.
“I guess he will want to play in the Premiership this year.
“He made a big commitment to us last summer in choosing to stay.
“He gave it his best shot with us and was top goalscorer.
“This year it will be very difficult to keep hold of him – the interest we have already had suggests that.”
However, Doyle is currently recovering from a calf injury that ruled him out of Reading’s failed play-off campaign.
Stephen Hunt and Andre Bikey are also set to leave the club this summer. As we revealed Marseille are keen to land Bikey, while Hunt has a few clubs interested in him.