Date: 1st December 2006 at 1:34pm
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Steve Coppell has confirmed that Reading have looked at the possibility of bringing Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika to the club. But he insists that there is nothing more too it.

‘Through an agent we have some details on him,’ Coppell told the Reading Evening Post. ‘We have made preliminary enquiries, but nothing else.’

‘But the closer we get to January the more names come our way.”

In this period of closed transfer windows its only normal that clubs are faced with rumours about transfers. But for Coppell`s freshman Premier League club, it is gossip like nothing the side has seen before.

Just in recent weeks the Royal`s have been linked with everyone from Crystal Palace`s Reading born midfielder Tom Soares to Hib`s players Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson. Matthew Upson and David Dunn who are reported to want out of Birmingham City and, Greek side, PAOK Salonika’s Amir Azmy were also among the latest players apparently set for the Madejski Stadium.

And the list doesn`t end there; Reading has allegedly targeted American wiz, Freddy Adu, Milwall`s Marvin Elliott and Leeds youngster Matthew Kilgallon.

But who will be on their way to Berkshire?

In typical Coppell fashion, the Reading boss has played down talk of having any particular targets for the club:

‘There’s a lot of talk going around but it’s just that – talk.”

Further speculation has been flying around Eddie Johnson`s availability to the club after the American striker spent two weeks at the Madejski Stadium training and working with the Royals` squad.

But Coppell explained: ‘It’s wrong to read too much into it. His club gave him permission. It wasn’t a shop-window exercise, just an opportunity to see how we do things over here.’

‘We have no specific targets. When we do people will know about it. But there’s no-one in our cross-hairs right now.’

Thanks for clearing that up, Steve, but surely you have someone on your Christmas list?!