herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Royals ready to battle Wolves for boss McDermott

Wolves are facing a battle to secure Reading's Brian McDermott as their new manager with the Royals poised to offer him a new lucrative contract.

McDermott had been earmarked by Wolves owner Steve Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey as a leading candidate to replace Mick McCarthy.

But Reading's new prospective owner, Russian billionaire Anton Zingarevich, is understood to want to keep hold of McDermott if at all possible via a new long-term deal.

McDermott is currently only on a one-year rolling contract, which is part of the appeal to Wolves as he would only cost them around £500,000 in compensation should he opt to leave.

He joined Reading as their chief scout 11 years ago before eventually becoming Brendan Rodgers' successor as manager in January 2010 after a successful spell in a caretaker role.

McDermott led Reading to the Championship play-off final last season before losing to Rodgers' Swansea.

But they are mounting another strong promotion challenge during the current campaign despite the loss of key players Shane Long and Matt Mills to West Brom and Leicester respectively last summer.

If McDermott opts to stay at the Madejski Stadium, it will be another blow for Morgan and Moxey after McCarthy's reign was ended nine days ago via a split boardroom vote.

Their initial target, Alan Curbishley, rejected the chance to take charge at Molineux after holding talks, although last night he re-emerged among the leading bookmakers' candidates.

A compensation figure in the region of £2million has also cooled Wolves' interest in Brighton manager Gus Poyet, who is less than 12 months into a five-year contract.

Steve Bruce remains the bookmakers' favourite to replace McCarthy. But Bruce, who has just relocated in the Midlands, is becoming increasingly frustrated that no further contact has been made since he was interviewed by Morgan and Moxey last Friday.

It is looking increasingly likely that McCarthy's number two, Terry Connor, will be in charge of the side for Saturday's clash at Newcastle.

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