Reports from Europe suggest that Reading are in pole position to sign Pedro Mendes from Sporting CP this month, after their failed summer bid to bring the striker to Berkshire.

The 21-year-old was pursued by Reading last summer. The Royals were linked with a season-long loan move for the Portuguese U21 striker, who last season made six league appearances for Sporting.

Ahead of this current campaign though, Mendes would join Spanish Segunda side Almeria on a season-long loan – he’s so far made seven league appearances for the club without scoring.

Spanish outlet Marca have reported today that Almeria are unhappy with Mendes’ loan spell and that they’re likely to send him back to Sporting this month, leaving Reading as the ‘best placed’ club to sign Mendes – it also comes a week after Portuguese outlet Record claimed Mendes’ loan move to Reading was ‘well forwarded.

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Reading manager Veljko Paunovic then could be about to welcome another Portuguese striker to compliment the in-form one he already has. Lucas Joao has long been a hailed striker at Championship level, but a mixture of poor form and injuries have kept him from really fulfilling his potential.

This season though, the 27-year-old has 13 Championship goals in 17 outings for the Royals. He marked his return from injury with a brace in the 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town at the start of the month, having sat out the FA Cup loss at Luton Town at the weekend.

With Mendes looking as though he could join Reading very soon, Joao will no doubt be considered as somehting of a ‘mentor’ for the young striker.

He’s not yet made his mark in first-team football and after a poor stint with Almeria, it looks likely that it’ll be cut short. Reading is now his likeliest destination and with Joao often sidelined, Mendes could become the immediate back-up for his fellow countryman.

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Exciting times at Reading, and with Joao bang in-form this season Mendes would no doubt find being a Reading attacker an attractive option.

Sitting in 5th-place of the Championship table, Reading host 4th-place Brentford tomorrow night.