Championship keeper set for the exit door in January

Rafael the Reading goalkeeper

Reading goalkeeper Rafael has been linked with a move away from the Royals in the January transfer window.

The Brazilian joined Reading in 2019 from Italian side Sampdoria at the end of his contract.

He had been a regular since making the move to the Madejski Stadium, only missing three matches in his first two seasons with the club.

But he has fallen out of favour under current coach Veljko Paunovic.

After beginning the season as first choice, he conceded 16 goals in six matches.

A hand injury then ruled him out of action and he has been replaced by Luke Southwood and not made an appearance since mid-September.

Reports in Brazil claim that Reading are keen to offload him to ease their financial problems.

The Royals were docked six points by the EFL earlier this season after breaches of profit and sustainability rules.

Speaking to ge.globo.com, Rafael said: “The club is excellent, but unfortunately right now it’s having this [Financial] Fair Play problem, where we’ve already lost six points.

“(The club) has to achieve some goals with player sales, revenue and payroll reduction so that there are no more punishments, as far as we know.

“So really anything can happen. But I repeat, the club is great.”

Reading must stick to a business plan and with Rafael being one of their highest earners, he could leave in January.

There is no reported interest from anywhere in English football.


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More losses in January?

Meanwhile, Reading are set to lose full-backs Andy Yiadom and Baba Rahman in January – to the African Cup of Nations.

The duo are expected to be named in the Ghana squad.

They will have to wait for confirmation the tournament can go ahead due to the new Omicron variant.

Talks are ongoing whether the tournament should be postponed for the third time.

The AFCON is scheduled to meet the Cameroon government on Monday to discuss.

If the tournament gets postponed, Reading will retain both for the January period instead of losing them for a month.

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