Reading are still hopeful of completing a deal to sign Stoppila Sunzu from TP Mazembe despite the defender flying out to participate in the African Nations Cup.
The Premier League strugglers had taken Sunzu, 24, on a week-long trial but he has now flown to South Africa where he played for in the opening game of Zambia’s defence of their African Nations Cup title, a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia.
The club’s director of football Nick Hammond admitted they were impressed with his showing and will continue to look at the option of a move for Sunzu, who was also reportedly a target for Arsenal.
“We had a very good week with him here, we had been trying to bring him across since the summer and this was the first opportunity we had. He was here as a young boy a few years ago so it was great to see him again.
“We're very grateful to his club TP Mazembe for allowing him to train with us, they have been a pleasure to deal with throughout the entire process. Of course the same also goes for the Zambian FA who were also very gracious in allowing him to train with us so close to the start of the Cup of Nations.
“Now of course his focus will be fully on the tournament and doing well for his country, so we will continue to monitor his performances and will continue our dialogue with TP Mazembe.”