Reading remain hopeful of signing Tom Ince for 'decent money'

Blackpool midfielder also linked with Newcastle, Tottenham and Liverpool

Reading take on one of the Barclays Premier League's big spenders tonight, but if manager Brian McDermott gets his way the Royals will be splashing the cash themselves this week.

Chelsea head to Berkshire with interim boss Rafael Benitez backing his club's decision not to go overboard in the transfer window.

That is an unusual stance for the Blues, who have never been shy to show the colour of their money, meaning Reading could outdo them if McDermott gets his wish and signs Blackpool's Thomas Ince.

The 20-year-old is one of the hottest properties outside of the top flight and has been heavily linked with moves to the likes of Newcastle, Tottenham and first club Liverpool.

But McDermott is hoping that Reading can win the England Under-21 international's signature.

"We'd like to do something there. It would be decent money for this club (to spend)," he said.

While McDermott accepts his club cannot compete with the likes of Liverpool financially, he does think they can match them in every other department.

"Possibly not financially but I think we can compete as far as what we can offer," he said. "It has to feel right for the players, myself and our club, I definitely feel we can compete because we have a good environment for players to develop.

"That has proven over a number of years. A lot of younger players want to come to us because they get that opportunity to develop and do well."

Reading's last meeting with Chelsea saw them lose 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in August, with a contentious goal from Fernando Torres eventually putting the game to bed.

The Blues have changed manager since then, with Benitez replacing Roberto Di Matteo.

McDermott is not a fan of sacking managers, let alone when they have won what Di Matteo had, but he concedes that for as long as owner Roman Abramovich puts up the money, he can hire and fire as he pleases.

"The only thing I would say about Chelsea is that before Roman Abramovich came in they hadn't won too much," McDermott said.

"Then in the last nine or 10 years they have won a lot. He's the owner, it's his prerogative to do what he has to do.

"I look at other owners who haven't backed their manager and then sack them every five minutes - I have an issue with that.

"If the owner is backing the manager and getting the best players in the world then he can do what he likes. If he said to me, 'Come on Brian, come and manage Chelsea' and he backed me and I didn't do well and he gave me a load of money to go, I would take that.

"That's how it works. But I have an issue with owners who don't - they talk the talk but don't back the manager. That he decided to sack Di Matteo after winning the Champions League is amazing."

PA

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