Date:Thursday December 21 2006
Greg Halford, Colchester United`s highly rated full back, is rumored to be the subject of declared interest by Reading, who are looking at signing the 22-year-old in the coming January transfer window.
Colchester have been in impressive form since winning promotion to the Championship, and the likes of Halford have caught the eye of a number of Premiership clubs looking to strengthen their squads.
Halford currently plays at right-back for the U`s, but is equally comfortable in midfield and attack. It was rumored that a £1.5million bid has already been turned down by Colchester, but it seems more likely that a bid is being prepared, seemingly in the region of £2million.
U's boss Geraint Williams has previously warned that the player is not for sale. Williams is under no pressure to sell and is confident of keeping hold of his most important players.
'Nobody's contract runs out in January so that is the case at the moment,' said Williams. 'In the longer scheme of things we have to make sure we keep everyone we can within our budget. But did Everton want to sell Wayne Rooney? Everyone has their price, but it won't be because Colchester are desperate for the money. We'll make that decision if and when it comes around.'
Reading`s current right-back is club captain Graeme Murty. Whilst Murty has been in excellent form this season, there doesn`t seem to be any quality beyond him in this position. Since joining from Stoke in January last season, John Halls has been wholey disappointing. Ullisses De La Cruz is seen as being a short-term stop gap, whilst midfielders Andrey Bikey and Brynjar Gunnarsson have be known to play out of position to fill the right-back void on occasions when Murty has been missing.
But Reading are not the only ones interested in Halford. Sheff Utd have been alleged to be willing to rival the Royals all the way in the race for Halford.
Sheffield have already had a 1.25million offer rejected for the talented defender, but now reports indicate that the club is willing to go higher top secure his arrival from Colchester.
Reports suggest that Neil Warnock`s club is willing to offer in the region of £2million for Halford come the Januray transfer window.
And it is thought that Colchester might be ready to let the player go, should the offer be right; as Halford`s contract is due to expire in the summer.
Aston Villa, Man City, Watford, and West Ham are other clubs that have been linked with Halford.
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