Speaking on The Second Tier Podcast, former Reading manager Mark Bowen has revealed both Cardiff City and Birmingham City were “very interested” in striker George Puscas before he made the move to the Madejski Stadium.

Eyebrows were raised when Reading secured the signing of young striker George Puscas from Inter Milan in 2019.

The Romanian attacker arrived off the back of a thoroughly impressive summer with his country’s U21s side. Puscas had netted four goals in four games at the European Championships as Romania got through to the semi-finals.

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Now, it has been revealed that Reading were among other Championship sides in pursuing a 2019 deal for Puscas.

Speaking on The Second Tier Podcast, former manager Mark Bowen has revealed Reading’s Championship rivals Cardiff City and Birmingham City were also keen on Puscas.

The Welshman added that he believes in hindsight that the club didn’t do enough research on the player. Here’s what he had to say:

“It was put to me that there was this young player at Inter Milan who had done well with Romania’s Under-21s’. Cardiff were very interested in him, as were Birmingham City.

“The associates of the owner said to go and get him. I think in hindsight, they probably didn’t do enough background and homework on the player.”

Bowen went on to say that Puscas will have to work on his build-up play and decision making to further his development. However, he did acknowledge that the former Romanian youth hotshot is a “very raw talent”.

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Puscas impressed in his first campaign with the Royals. He chipped in with 14 goals and three assists in 41 games across all competitions. However, his game time has been more limited this season.

Under Veljko Paunovic, the striker has managed just 16 Championship appearances. with 10 of those coming off the bench. Injury has kept him out for much of the season, while the form of Lucas Joao has made it difficult to break back into the starting 11.