Royals hope for new face

Coppell hunts Shorey replacement

Hunt: Not a full-back

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Reading are hoping to have signed a new left-back by the time they face Plymouth on Saturday.

The Royals began their Championship campaign against Nottingham Forest on Sunday with midfielder Stephen Hunt deputising in defence.

The Republic of Ireland international rarely looked troubled at the City Ground, but would be better utilised further up the field.

Reading boss Steve Coppell admits that he is in the market to replace Nicky Shorey, who has joined Aston Villa, and is confident of having a deal in place by the weekend.

"We are still searching and I think we are getting near, something could be done soon," he told the Reading Evening Post.

"If we do something it will probably be the only signing we make, but I can't say for sure."

Rumours

Reading have rubbished reports linking them with Leicester's Joe Mattock, but are understood to be keen on Dagenham's Scott Griffiths.

The Royals will have the ideal opportunity to run the rule over their prospective target on Tuesday night when they face the Daggers in the first round of the Carling Cup.

Meanwhile, Coppell has once again played down the continued speculation linking James Harper with a move to Middlesbrough, insisting that he expects no further departures form the Madejski Stadium this summer.

"I don't think anyone else will leave now," he said.