Reading star leaves for Aston Villa – big dent in Royals promotion bid?

Reading are among the favourites to win next season’s Championship, although their hopes of making an immediate return to the Premier League have been seriously dented today. While Steve Coppell was hopeful of keeping hold of one of his star players, the lure of playing in the top flight has proved too much for this England international.

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Sky Sports reports that Nicky Shorey has joined Aston Villa for around £3.5 million, and it doesn’t seem like a bad bit of business for the Midlands club. The defender has the very definition of a cultured left-foot and has consistently stood out for the Royals over the past few seasons.

“I’m delighted to be here. It’s all come out of the blue a bit but it’s a great challenge for me. This is a massive club and I’m really looking forward to it,” Shorey told the club’s official website.

“There were other clubs interested but this is such a big club. Obviously I talked to the manager and he’s very positive and very ambitious. That’s what I am – especially after last season. I want to get back into the Premier League and show people what I can do.

“So I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play for such a big club as Aston Villa. I think I can achieve everything I want in the game at a club like this.

“Villa are definitely going places. You can tell by the signings they’re making and the people already at the club.

“The manager is talking very positively here and obviously the chairman’s backing him up. So I want to be a part of that.”

It had appeared that Portsmouth were leading the race to sign Shorey, who seemed to have the pick of a few clubs in the end. Reading will appreciate the cash they get for this talented player, although with Kitson also gone, will the Royals be struggling to make the top six?

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