Reading have all-but confirmed the signing of striker Pavel Pogrebnyak after stating that the only thing holding them back is confirmation of the player's work permit, which will be decided in a hearing next week.
Reading have been strongly linked with the former Fulham forward over the course of the summer and at various stages it was stated that the Berkshire club had outbid Fulham for his services. Nothing was ever confirmed, though, but now it seems a deal is almost done.
He completed his medical at the club last week after agreeing a four year deal with the side, before returning to Russia.
Before Reading's intervention, it was widely considered that Pogrebnyak would extend his short-term loan at Fulham to a permanent deal after impressing at Craven Cottage, scoring six goals in twelve appearances. With a deal on the cards, reported to be around £40,000, however, his decision to switch allegiance appears understandable.
Speaking of the deal, Reading director of football, Nick Hammond, said: "Our main focus right now is to complete on the Pogrebnyak deal and then we will look again at where we sit.
"We already have five strikers at the club and good ones at that."
This puts into doubt their supposed move for Fulham target Jordan Rhodes which, if successful, would mean clinching two players from under the nose of Martin Jol in quick succession. Hammond's admission that the club "already have five strikers" suggests that, either Pogrebnyak will complete their summer moves in that department, or, instead, players will have to leave to make room for Rhodes.
Jol would be disappointed in losing Rhodes to Reading, despite the Huddersfield striker possessing no experience at Premier League level. But, with the Pogrebnyak deal, things could be working in Fulham's favour.