Date:Thursday January 19 2006
Reading have further strengthened their side today with the signing of Stoke City defender John Halls.
The 23 year old was reportedly going to Southampton but decided to sign for the Royals in a deal worth £300,000 to the Potteries outfit. The deal will keep Halls at the Mad Stad until 2008.
Reading have to pay £250,000 up front with a further £50,000 payable should the Royals be promoted to the Premiership, but he will not be included in the squad that takes on Crystal Palace on Friday as he has a hamstring injury.
Stoke had no choice but to sell the ex-Arsenal man as his contract was up in the summer and he would have been off on a free transfer as he had already stated he would not be signing a new deal.
'John will be a very good addition to our squad,' director of football Nick Hammond told the club's official website.
'He is first and foremost a right-back but he's a very versatile player and can also play in the centre of defence or midfield.
'He was brought up with Arsenal so he had an excellent education as a player, and that formula has been successful for us in the past. John is also at a good age and he has an exciting future ahead of him.'
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