Crystal Palace are reportedly plotting a January move for Reading midfielder John Swift as new manager Patrick Vieira aims to complete his overhaul of the club’s engine room.
It was recently reported by Football League World (FLW) that the Eagles are one of four Premier League clubs interested in securing the 26-year-old’s signature, with Wolves, Norwich City and Burnley also listed as potential suitors.
And now, the same outlet has provided an update on Swift’s situation. FLW claim the quartet have decided to launch moves for the attack-minded maestro over the winter window rather than waiting for him to become a free agent in the summer.
The report states that: “With the midfielder’s existing contract being set to expire in the summer of next year, the aforementioned Premier League quartet are aiming to tie up a deal for the player in the upcoming January window instead of waiting to snare him away on a free transfer, when there may be more interest in his services from other parties.”
Reading were hoping that a promotion push would be enough to convince their prized asset to put pen to paper on a new deal until they faced the prospect of a points deduction for financial mismanagement, meaning Swift’s exit now appears to be inevitable.
Swift rose through the ranks of boyhood club Chelsea before becoming frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities after he made just one appearance for the senior side.
A string of successful loan spells throughout the Football League led to the west London outfit offering their academy graduate a new contract back in 2016, but he rejected it in order to get regular game time at Reading.
Since arriving at the Madejski Stadium, Swift has become one of the Championship’s star performers, bagging 30 goals and laying on a further 30 assists in 175 outings for the Royals.
And he’s elevated his game to new heights this term. In just 11 outings for Veljko Paunovic’s charges, the 5 foot 9 dynamo has notched seven goals and provided a further five assists, highlighting the ability he would bring to Palace’s setup.
While Vieira added Conor Gallagher and Will Hughes in the previous window to bolster his midfielder options, the ageing Cheikhou Kouyate and James McArthur will soon need to be replaced, while Gallagher only arrived on a 12-month loan deal.
Therefore, Palace supporters are sure to be delighted at this latest revelation. Swift’s introduction to the midfield would provide a fresh source of goals and youthful energy to the capital club, attributes that have been missing in recent years. He could also act as their Gallagher heir come next season, something fans will no doubt be keen to see addressed.