McDermott tells West Ham United Long isn't for saleBy Jonny Fordham
January 03, 2011
Brian McDermott issued a hands-off warning to Premier League suitors chasing Reading’s top-scorer Shane Long after the striker helped sink Burnley 2-1.
Long scored either side of Ross Wallace’s opener at Madejski Stadium to hit double figures for the season and lift Royals up the table into eighth place.
The 23-year-old Republic of Ireland striker signed a new deal until the summer of 2012 in November, but West Ham United have reportedly been tracking his progress during the last month.
“From my perspective it is important to keep the players we have got during this transfer window,” McDermott said.
“As far as I am concerned no-one is for sale. Early on in his career he [Shane] didn't get the credit he deserved. I wasn't concerned what people were saying about him.
“I never had any doubts and nor did the people in our dressing room.”
It is believed that Royals have made an enquiry to bring Swindon Town ace and former Royals trainee Charlie Austin back to Berkshire.
However, the Robins are reluctant to let him go on the cheap and Reading look to have been put off by the steep asking price for the striker who has netted 17 times already this season.
A more likely addition to the squad is on-loan QPR midfielder Mikele Leigertwood after he put in his best shift for Reading against the Clarets.
McDermott added: “Mikele was possibly going to miss out through injury, but he came in and did well, he's done a really good job for us.
“He put himself up to play, he was outstanding, like a number of them and he's a player I want to keep. He's a strong boy, a great character and fits into what we want to do here.”