Championship side Reading are in talks with Italian giants Juventus over a potential link up between the two clubs.
Club owner Anton Zingarevich has substantial plans for the team, with the Royals already completing partnership deals with Turkish side Galatasaray and F1 team Marussia. The Royals will now have their badge displayed on all Marussia F1 cars, and the team Marussia logo will be placed on the back of the Reading home and away shirt for the upcoming season.
The Russian owner has admitted it would be a major coup for the relegated side, who will be looking for an immediate return to the top flight.
Zingarevich is quoted as saying in Get Reading: “It’s good to get established with a club like that. They are looking for partner clubs and we’re in discussions right now. But there’s nothing to confirm yet, we are just in discussions.”
The move for Reading could lead to an influx of young Italian players coming through the doors at the Madejski Stadium. Zingarevich has stressed the importance of this move in terms of player development and increasing global awareness of the Royals as a brand in football.
Zingarevich added: “It’s more in terms of player development. They have 100 players on the books which they look to develop and so they are looking to get partnerships with clubs who can help them do that.
“It’s not like an exclusive arrangement where it’s only going to be us. We will be a part of the group that they are building their partnerships with.”
This potential move for Reading is somewhat reminiscent of Watford's association with Serie A club Udinese, and the controversial loophole that the Hornets exploited last season. Watford fielded seven on-loan players in a match against Crystal Palace last season. Palace boss Ian Holloway branded the state of affairs “ludicrous”, however the loophole has now been sorted by the Football League. There is no suggestion that Reading will follow suit and field a Reading side dominated with an Italian contingent.
Nick Hammond, the Reading director of football has recently returned from a trip to Turin where he met with Juventus officials to try and push a deal through. It is unclear what stage discussions are at between the two clubs, but it is no doubt an exciting prospect for Reading fans.
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