Reading sign Carrico as they prepare for a busy window

Reading have signed the versatile Sporting Lisbon captain Daniel Carrico for £610,000 on an 18-month deal.

The 24-year-old's contract in Portugal was due to expire in June and the defender, who is also comfortable in midfield, revealed he had been lured to England by the challenge.

Carrico said: "It is with mixed emotions that I write this farewell message. I'm leaving the club of my heart, where I had the privilege of graduating [through the youth ranks] and serving for several years.

"I am at a stage in my career when I have to take chances. Moreover, the proposed project is extremely exciting to me and know I can succeed."

Carrico is a former Portugal Under-21 international and Reading have the option of an extra year on his contract with them from summer 2014.

However, he is unlikely to be Brian McDermott's only signing this month, with the club saying this deal is only the beginning. "I think we're going to do some business in the transfer window," the manager said.

"There is a perception [that we have a lot of money to spend], which is wide of the mark. But we'll do the best that we can with the budget we've got. The most important thing is that any new players fit into the ethos and the spirit we've got here, that concerns me."

Carrico, who has only made two appearances for Sporting this season because of his contractual situation, will join up with his new team-mates later this week and will not play at White Hart Lane against Tottenham, whose reserve goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini was on his way to LA Galaxy yesterday after the two clubs agreed a transfer.

Spurs will be without Gareth Bale, who serves a one-match ban for picking up five yellow cards.

Kick-off 3pm Referee H Webb (South Yorks) TV Highlights, 10.25pm, BBC 1.

Odds: Tottenham 4-11 Draw 15-4 Reading 8-1

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