EXCLUSIVE: Club with Man City connections join mad dash for EFL starlet

Current Reading manager Veljko Paunović during his stint in America as Chicago Fire boss 2018

Reading are in danger of losing another of their top youngsters, with a Belgian side with connections to Man City among two European clubs chasing Imari Samuels, TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal.

The Royals are no strangers to losing bright talent to big foreign clubs having seen the likes of Omar Richards and Danny Loader move abroad – joining Bayern Munich and Porto respectively.

The 18-year-old left-back is part of Veljko Paunovic’s first-team squad. Despite being highly rated he is yet to make his league debut for the club.

Nevertheless, he has caught the eye in the youth ranks and has already graduated to their Premier League 2 team at Under-23 level.

Samuels was called into the England Under-19 squad over the summer, underlining his potential and ability.

Now we can reveal that Monaco and Belgian side Lommel – part of the famed City Group – are amongst the sides chasing him. He has just 12-months left on his current deal.

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Lommel became the ninth club to join the City Group stable after the parent company of Man City acquired the Belgian side in 2020.

We understand that a host of Premier League clubs are also checking on him. As such, Reading now face a huge battle to retain the services of another of their brightest talents.

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Man City strike agreement for £68m Kane alternative?

Meanwhile, Manchester City could be about to abandon their chase for Harry Kane. That’s because they have reportedly reaching an agreement over a deal for a much-heralded alternative.

Reports on Wednesday claimed City had suddenly leaped into the race to sign Dusan Vlahovic. Ironically, the powerful and promising Fiorentina striker has also been linked with a move to Spurs. Indeed, Fabio Paratici sees the Serb as the man to replace Kane in the Tottenham line-up.

Instead though, Vlahovic could end up at City instead. 

Rai Sport reported that City could make an important bid for Vlahovic imminently, in an attempt to beat Atletico Madrid and Tottenham to his signature.

Now, as per Gazzetta dello Sport, City have an offer of €80m (£68m) to sign Vlahovic ready. Furthermore, they report City have ‘reached a verbal agreement with the player and with his agent, who is asking for a rich commission’.

Indeed, his agent Darko Ristic is said to be seeking €7m to broker the deal. City are reportedly willing to meet that demand. In addition, it’s claimed personal terms have already been reached over a lengthy deal at the Etihad.

Discussing Vlahovic’s future, Rocco Commisso, the president of Fiorentina, insisted he would like to keep the striker. However, he admits they could have their hand forced in the wake of a big offer.

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