Reading FC make final offer to Jimmy KebeBy Jonny Fordham
January 06, 2012
Reading have made a last-ditch attempt to keep hold of Jimmy Kebe by offering him a new and improved two-and-ahalf- year deal.
Boss Brian McDermott urged his star winger to stay loyal to Royals amid interest from Championship rivals West Ham United, who had a bid rejected for the 27-year-old on Sunday.
Kebe has just six months left on his existing deal and could walk away for nothing in the summer and pick up a huge signing-on fee elsewhere as a free agent.
McDermott insists that he and the board want to keep Kebe, who was unhappy with the terms he was being offered last summer and the fact he would get only a one-year extension on his contract.
However, Royals’ boss declined to guarantee that the Mali international would still be at the club when the transfer window closes on February 1.
McDermott said: “I can only say what I’ve been told and that is that we are not looking to sell him in this window.
“I spoke to the board and they have said that he is going nowhere. That’s where we’re at and we shall see what happens.
“If someone comes in and gives us an absolute fortune, then they might sell.
“If Jimmy decides he will see his contract out that’s his prerogative. If he signs, we will be delighted. From my point of view, if I was Jimmy, I would get my future sorted as soon as possible.
“If something happens and someone leaves we always have contingency plans for people to come in and that never changes.”
Royals take on League One Stevenage in the third round of the FA Cup at Madejski Stadium tomorrow (3pm kick-off). And Kebe could be rested to avoid him being cup-tied.
Last season Reading made it through to the quarter-finals where they were knocked out by eventual winners Manchester City. And McDermott is eager to embark on another memorable run.
He said: “I love the FA Cup and we’ve had great memories in the competition.
“We want to stay in it as long as we can. The players and the fans love the cup too. I’ll pick a team that I think has every chance of winning the game.
“Their manager Graham Westley knows what he’s doing. “He’s a bit different, which I like, and he’s his own man and does things his own way.
“His team works hard for him and they are tough opposition, who know how to win games.
“We will need to be at our best and ready – and I know we will be.”