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Liverpool and Man City renew hostilities

50-50 Challenge
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By ESPN Staff

Relegated Reading open to Shorey offers

Reading will listen to offers for Nicky Shorey as the Premier League relegation credit crunch begins to bite.

Shorey is a summer target for West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle with the England left-back keen to end his seven-year spell at the Madejski Stadium and remain in the top flight.

A £11million parachute payment will ease Reading's drop into the Championship but chief executive Nigel Howe insists it also necessary to slash the wage bill.

'Nicky Shorey and a few others will be looked at as potential people to leave,' said Howe.

'Nicky has made it clear for a long time that he hasn't been too happy at the club. Well, let's hope that somebody comes in with a good offer.'

Reading boss Steve Coppell has been warned salaries will need to be trimmed or players sold if he wants to recruit new faces.

Coppell has shelved plans to resign in the wake of the club's relegation and committed himself to securing an immediate return to the top flight.

But the 52-year-old, who is thought to have accepted a £500,000 pay-cut in preparation for life in the Championship, is operating under strict financial constraints.

'What we have said to Steve is that if he trades well it should release enough funds to go forward,' Howe told the Reading Evening Post.

'But he won't have money unless he sells. At the moment we are just trying to balance the budget.

'The concern is to keep as many of the core squad together. But Steve does want to reduce the squad so he is expecting to receive offers for players.

'If Steve wants to keep all the players on the same salaries, there won't be the release of funds. If he reduces the wage bill, he will have funds.

'Even though we get the £11million parachute we have still got very highly paid players - even with the reduction in wages - so I think we will have to budget for a small loss.

'Salaries have to be at the middle range and some in the upper range for the Championship.'

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