Royals seek transfer boost
Reading take on one of the Barclays Premier League's big spenders on Wednesday night, but if manager Brian McDermott gets his way the Royals will be splashing the cash themselves this week.
Chelsea head to Berkshire with interim boss Rafael Benitez backing his club's decision not to go overboard in the transfer window. That is an unusual stance for the Blues, who have never been shy to show the colour of their money, meaning Reading could outdo them if McDermott gets his wish and signs Blackpool's Thomas Ince.
"We'd like to do something there. It would be decent money for this club (to spend)," he said.
While McDermott accepts his club cannot compete with the likes of Liverpool, who have also been linked with Ince, financially, he does think they can match them in every other department.
"Possibly not financially but I think we can compete as far as what we can offer," he said. "It has to feel right for the players, myself and our club, I definitely feel we can compete because we have a good environment for players to develop.
"That has proven over a number of years. A lot of younger players want to come to us because they get that opportunity to develop and do well."
Reading's last meeting with Chelsea saw them lose 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in August, with a contentious goal from Fernando Torres eventually putting the game to bed. The Blues have changed manager since then, with Benitez replacing Roberto Di Matteo.
McDermott is not a fan of sacking managers, let alone when they have won what Di Matteo had, but he concedes that for as long as owner Roman Abramovich puts up the money, he can hire and fire as he pleases.
"The only thing I would say about Chelsea is that before Roman Abramovich came in they hadn't won too much," McDermott said.
"Then in the last nine or 10 years they have won a lot. He's the owner, it's his prerogative to do what he has to do. I look at other owners who haven't backed their manager and then sack them every five minutes - I have an issue with that."