Reading have confirmed they were able to fend off interest from Premier League clubs for top scorer Shane Long before the transfer window closed on Monday night.

Long had been linked with a move to West Ham after a run which has seen him score nine goals in his last nine games but the club were delighted to keep hold of him.

Director of football Nick Hammond said: "Shane is a Premier League player, we've all seen him develop into that player now. Top strikers in the Premier League require pace, power and athleticism and he has all of those in abundance."

He added: "His game is growing, he's playing regular football which he'd never done previously. He wants to play in the Premier League, I understand that and he will play in the top division.

"But he has a loyalty and affinity to the club and in this window, for us to have no issues with him - no comments in newspapers, no transfer request - it tells you a lot about the boy and his character.

"He's an example of what we try to do here, the type of player we try to bring to the club, players who want to be here. Of course there may come a time when if we don't get to the Premier League he may move, but the greatest compliment I can pay him is that we haven't had a single issue with him, where other clubs certainly do with players. That type of player in the modern game is priceless to a football club."

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