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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
Read

Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
Read

Reading sign Mariappa and Gunter

Reading have confirmed the signing of defender Adrian Mariappa from Watford and Nottingham Forest's Chris Gunter.

Mariappa, 25, has signed a three-year deal after Reading paid what they described as a "significant fee" for his services.

The centre-back will now link up with his new side ahead of their pre-season tour to Portugal, starting on Wednesday.

Watford's captain and reigning Player of the Season, Mariappa came through the ranks at Vicarage Road, playing almost 250 games for the club, including during their last spell in the Premier League.

"It's a great feeling," Mariappa told the official club website. "The Premier League is the best league in the world and I'm delighted to have the oportunity to try to work my way into this team and perform for Reading Football Club.

"Reading is a great place to come to anyway, so it wasn't a hard decision to make the move here. I just can't wait to get onto a training pitch with all the lads and start settling in, getting to know everyone and playing in the pre-season games we have coming up."

Manager Brian McDermott added, "I'm delighted to get the deal to sign Aidy over the line, we have been chasing him all summer. He's been a very important player for Watford over a number of years, he is well known to most of our players already and also the staff here.

"Every single person I have spoken to about him has nothing but good things to say about him both as a player and as a person."

The Royals later added Gunter to their playing staff, the Nottingham Forest man signing a three-year deal to join for an undisclosed fee.

"Having spoken to the manager, [director of football] Nick Hammond and now the chairman today, everyone has made me feel really welcome and I'm really looking forward to this opportunity," Gunter said.

"If you form a team spirit, a togetherness, you'll always do well in football - and if you work hard you'll get your rewards. Reading have certainly done that in the last few years. Hopefully that can carry on. Right now, I need to focus on impressing everyone at this club and I'm really excited to get going."

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