Reading close in on Australia international Tom Rogic

The playmaker has shone for the Central Coast Mariners

Reading are close to signing Australia international Tom Rogic.

Playmaker Rogic, 20, has shone for the Central Coast Mariners and is due to reach the end of his contract in May.

He came close to joining Reading in 2011 when the Berkshire club failed to secure a work permit for him.

Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull told SBS' The World Game: "We have been in discussions with Reading and both clubs are fairly satisfied with what's on the table and now it's up to Tom to reach a personal agreement with Reading.

"I am not going to say what the figure is but there is an agreement there. Of course we don't want to see him go.

"I'd like to have Tommy here for another six years because he's a special player.

"But the reality is that quality Australian players will always want to test themselves overseas where they can command the salaries and exposure they cannot command here.

"You have seen it with the Harry Kewells, Brett Emertons, Lucas Neills, Jason Culinas and so many more over the years.

"We could keep Tom here until May when his contract expires but then he could leave for nothing, and we as a club would be out of pocket. It's a situation where our hands are really tied.

"The way things are now I would expect that things will be resolved by the end of the week concerning Tom and it may be that he will decide to stay, though considering his past association with Reading perhaps that would be unlikely."

Reading director of football Nick Hammond said in The Sun: "We've been monitoring Tomas closely for the past year or so and were really disappointed when we couldn't sign him because of those work-permit issues.

"Our opinion of him has only got higher.

"He's a smashing lad. I have no doubt he has the potential to play in the Premier League."

Rogic made his senior Australia debut against South Korea in November.

Reading stand 19th in the Barclays Premier League table after 21 games.

PA

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