Reading boss Veljko Paunovic has said he feels Andy Carroll has a “desire” to stay with the Royals amid links with a move away.

Carroll, 33, linked up with Reading in November, coming in to bolster their attacking ranks.

However, his contract runs out this weekend after only penning a short-term deal upon his arrival. The striker’s situation is said to have alerted Premier League side Burnley, who are in the market for a new striker after losing Chris Wood to Newcastle United.

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Now, following Reading’s 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough, manager Paunovic has opened up on the situation.

As quoted by the Reading Chronicle, Paunovic has said he doesn’t expect Carroll to depart the club this winter despite his contract expiry. He added that, in talks with the striker, he feels a “desire” to stay has been portrayed.

Here’s what he had to say on the matter:

“I don’t expect that although there’s a technical issue right now.

“Technical in terms of his contract expires today but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to leave.

“But his performance today and in his time he’s been with us definitely is going to bring him opportunities. In my conversations with him, I only felt that there is a desire on his end to remain with us. But this is also a footballing opportunity for him, hopefully, he stays and as soon as possible.”

Carroll’s time with Reading

Since joining the Royals, the former England international has played eight times across all competitions. He scored in the club’s last win back in November as Reading defeated Swansea City 3-2.

He provided an assist in the 2-2 draw with Derby County and scored his second goal for the club in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough too.

He has been Paunovic’s go-to striker since his arrival last year, but he could have played his last game for the Royals following the expiry of his contract this weekend.