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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Reading deny Welbeck loan link

Reading manager Brian McDermott has dismissed talk of him taking Danny Welbeck on loan and believes that Manchester United would not send the striker to any club.

Michael Carrick and Danny Welbeck celebrate a goal for Man United
Welbeck has seen less first-team action this season

- Blog: The passion of the Keane

The Royals are one of the lowest-scoring sides in the Premier League this season, having only scored just 23 goals in their 21 games back in the top flight thus far. Top scorer Adam Le Fondre has just five goals to his name in the competition this term.

As such, McDermott is hoping to bring in a striker this month to join fellow new arrivals Daniel Carrico and Hope Akpan, but denied that Welbeck was one of his targets.

"I can't see Sir Alex Ferguson sending Danny out to any club," McDermott said. "I don't know where this has come from, it's got nothing to do with me.

"Welbeck's a great player and I'm sure Sir Alex Ferguson thinks he's a great player too. Everyone in the country thinks that."

Welbeck started 23 league games for United last season, scoring nine goals, but the summer arrival of Robin van Persie and the rejuvenated form of Javier Hernandez has greatly reduced his playing time in the side this term.

His only league goal of the campaign came in the 4-2 win over Stoke City back in October.

However, McDermott revealed in his press conference ahead of Saturday's visit of West Bromwich Albion that he has spoken to Ferguson recently about a striker - current Baggies and former Reading forward Shane Long.

"I speak to Shane regularly, he's a friend," he said. "The impact he's had since 18 years of age has been phenomenal.

"Sir Alex Ferguson mentioned him the other day and talked about what a top player he was and he knows what he's on about. He might end up at a top-four club, that wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility."

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