Connolly Deal DEAD?

Last updated : 17 July 2003 By Rob Cooper
David Connolly. What a great signing he would be. A Republic of Ireland international, who has thirty-eight caps to his name He is a man with the kind of pedigree needed to take Reading to the next level - the Premiership.

Understandably Reading fans were delighted to hear that the Royals had agreed a fee with Wimbledon for the 26-year-old, confirming their beliefs that Mr Madejski is really serious about promotion to the promised land this season.

The Royals announced they had agreed a fee with Wimbledon's administrators for the Irishman on June 30th - but that was eighteen days ago. Since then there have been absolutely no official announcements regarding the negotiating of personal terms.

Yesterday Reading FC fans sites began to report that the deal was dead, with several people revealing their 'sources' had told them that Connolly had failed to agree personal terms.

It certainly seems a plausible scenario, given that the 26-year-old former Wolves player is on a reported £10,000 per week at Wimbledon.

If the deal has died then the Royals will find themselves in an alarming situation. It was all too obvious last season that we had no alternative to Fozzy's firepower and desparately needed another forward. Having lost Jamie Cureton to Busan Icons we find ourselves short, with less than a month until the new campaign gets underway.

If that wasn't bad enough there are growing fears that Nicky Forster could miss the start of the campaign. Things are so bad that we may have to field Martin Butler!

The Dons, who look to be a dying club, previously attempted to sell hot prospects Nigel Reo-Coker and Jobi McAnuff to Portsmouth but the administrators pulled the plug on the deal as a possible takeover bid for the club depended on those to players remaining with the Dons.

Connolly, who netted twenty-four times in twenty-eight games last season, is reported to be holding out for a move to Sunderland who have former Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy at the helm. However, the Black Cats are in a parlous financial situation and cannot afford to bring anyone in. Furthermore, Connolly was revealed to be a critic of McCarthy's Irish set-up, allegedly incensed at the shambolic handling of the Republic's 2002 World Cup campaign.

With a press conference said to be scheduled for the Madejski Stadium this afternoon maybe the eighteen days of waiting for news regarding the deal will be over?

We first reported that a fee for David Connolly had been agreed on Monday June 30th. You can read that story here.