Reading FC close in on Pogrebnyak signingBy Lewis Rudd
June 20, 2012
Reading are ready to pay highly-rated Russia international Pavel Pogrebnyak a reported £65,000 a week to join them.
The club has reportedly drawn up a lucrative four-year contract to lure the 28-year-old away from Fulham.
The player is understood to be close to signing on at Madejski Stadium.
However, his agent Oleg Artemov, has told Russian media that, although his client is in talks with Royals, there are other teams chasing his signature.
He said: “We’re not just holding talks with Reading. There are other English clubs too. I think that a final decision will be taken in a week’s time.”
Reading, who are at home to Stoke City on the opening day of the season on Saturday August 18, have refused to comment on the speculation.
The 6ft 2in striker has been a hit since joining Fulham earlier this year from VfB Stuttgart.
He scored six goals in 12 starts for the West London club before injury brought a premature end to his domestic campaign.
Pogrebnyak, however, was able to shake off the knock in time to make the Russia squad for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
He made a substitute appearance during a 1-0 defeat to Greece in Group A on Saturday that ended Russia’s participation in the Euros.
His contract with Fulham is due to expire at the end of the month and boss Martin Jol is keen to tie the striker down to a new deal.
Talks between the two parties appeared to hit a snag, though, before Pogrebnyak left for the European Championships.
He said: “We couldn’t agree anything. If I don’t play for Fulham, I hope to find another team.”
Sources close to the club have told the Reading Post how the former Zenit St Petersburg centre-forward has been offered a three-year contract to stay at Craven Cottage worth £50,000 a week, which he is understood to have verbally agreed to. But Reading boss Brian McDermott’s interest has forced the forward into a re-think.
Royals’ Premier League rivals, though, are not prepared to give up easily on a player who is set to triple the £20,000-a-week salary he was picking up in the German Bundesliga.
The source said: “This offer certainly ups what Fulham are prepared to offer him by £15,000 a week and such an offer would certainly ask some questions Fulham took over his contract in January and he has been a big success in the Premier League. They are an established Premier League club and they will obviously remind him of the unknown waters he may be jumping into at Reading.
“Pavel has stated he wants to play in the Premier League so who knows, he may wish to honour the faith shown in him by Martin Jol and sign the contract.”
Pogrebnyak is the latest name to be linked with a summer move to Madejski Stadium.
Adrian Mariappa of Watford, Hull’s Robert Koren and Dame N’Doye of FC Copenhagen are also in the frame.
McDermott, however, has refused to reveal who his targets are as he looks to plot a way to Premier League survival, saying only that he is in talks with a number of players.