Newcastle United are reported to be ready to challenge Middlesbrough for Reading’s central midfielder James Harper.
James Harper – central midfielder for Reading
Middlesbrough are also pursuing former Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell, now at Chelsea, but it appears that Aston Villa are favorites to sign Sidwell and Middlebrough have therefore turned their attentions to Harper.
While Harper is a good and experienced player, having played 275 times for Reading (24 goals), we’d be surprised if Kevin Keegan was really interested in the player.
Kevin has already said he’d prefer to sign players in the summer with proven Premiership experience and James certainly has that.
The central midfield player, who was born in Chelmsford and is 27 years old, is said to have a clause in his contract that allows him to leave Reading, now they have been relegated.
Reports today say he wants to take that option.
Harper, not surprisingly, wants to stay in the Premier League, and the transfer fee is said to be around Â£5m.
James started his football career at the Arsenal Academy (like Sidwell) but moved to Reading in 2001, where he’s been ever since.
We’re not sure Harper is the type of signing Newcastle need to make in central midfield, which is the engine room of the side.
What do you think?