Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur target Alex McCarthy has revealed his ambition to play Champions League football for a top four team in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old Reading stopper has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence this season, earning a first England call-up for the upcoming friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
His individual recognition came after a season of disappointment at the Madejski Stadium however, as the Royals went down under new manager Nigel Adkins.
And, whilst McCarthy is happy to remain committed to the Championship cause, he can’t hide his own personal aim to challenge for the title and play in Europe’s premier club competition.
“I think as you grow up you always dream of playing at the top level with the top four teams in the Premier League and to be involved in the Champions League. That is something I want to do,” he told GiveMeFootball in an exclusive interview.
“But, I have two-years left at Reading. I can't control my future at the moment, and I'll just let my football do the talking.”
Reports in The Daily Star on Wednesday claimed Chelsea and Spurs, as well as Liverpool, were considering whether to meet a reported £15million valuation for his services.
McCarthy admitted that such figures were ‘crazy’, given the fact that he’s made just 12 Premier League appearances in his career, but the stopper is focused on playing the best football he can and returning to Reading if nothing comes of the reported interest.
“Some of the valuations are crazy, but the main thing for me is that I keep my head down and keep playing my football,” he added.
“Obviously I've got two years left at Reading and they are my parent club, and that's where I will be going back after the summer as far as I know.”
Chelsea aren’t short of options between the sticks. Petr Cech is the first choice, whilst Thibaut Courtois is impressing on loan at Atletico Madrid. Henrique Hilario, Ross Turnbull and Jamal Blackman are also on the books at Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, have fewer options available to manager Andre Villas-Boas, with Hugo Lloris the first choice and Brad Friedel his deputy at White Hart Lane.