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Dai Yongge clears out Reading's defenders



Reading owner Dai Yongge and CEO Dayong Pang have allowed their three most proven centre backs to leave for less than £1 million in the last two weeks. Most recently, Tom McIntyre left for League One leaders Portsmouth following after fellow academy graduates Tom Holmes and Nelson Abbey, who both made moves away.



All three players only had six months remaining on their current contracts and would likely have left on a free in the summer, regardless of whether Reading stayed in League One for next season.


Left back Nesta Guiness-Walker also left the club to go on loan to Stevenage this window, a move which will take him to the end of his contract and likely mean he leaves as a free agent.

 

What is more shocking about all these transfers is they were all done behind manager Ruben Selles and Head of Football Operations Mark Bowen’s back. Mr Pang had gone behind their back and negotiated moves away for all the players as part of an attempt to generate cash for Dai Yongge. Despite the tiny fees received, there is a certain expectation that the money gathered will be used to fund the running of the club for the rest of the season.

 

Reading fans had been frustrated with Reading’s outgoings during Mr Dai’s tenure with various players receiving high-value offers but Mr Dai rejected all of them as they were for his ‘favourite players’. Mr Dai turned down more than £10 million for Liam Moore from Brighton and upwards of £4 million for John Swift from both Leeds and Sheffield United before both eventually ended up leaving for free.


 

To get a transfer fee for all the players seems a sensible business move for the club, however, the amount which they have brought in makes the deals seem hardly worthwhile. A rumoured £75,000 for McIntyre seems the worst of the bunch, the 25-year-old centre back has over 100 appearances for Reading with 95 coming in the Championship.

 

For context about transfer fees, Abbey (who was arguably the most valuable asset of all three) partnered with Ronnie Edwards in the England MU20’s game against Germany. Peterborough have valued Edwards at £10 million with the centre back having just a year more on his contract than Abbey who left for under £500,000.


*Nelson Abbey (back centre, number 5) and Ronnie Edwards (front centre, number 4).


Many clubs have been swooping around Reading in January with numerous players having an upturn in form on the recent string of good results, with winger Femi Azeez the most recent player to be linked away with Championship new boys Plymouth Argyle interested. Azeez also only has six months remaining on his contract. The Thursday transfer deadline cannot come soon enough for Reading with the potential of clubs coming in and getting players at a cut price due to the situation at the club.



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