Reading news

Royals complete Pogrebnyak deal

July 5, 2012
By ESPN staff

Newly-promoted Reading have completed the signing of Russia striker Pavel Pogrebnyak on a four-year contract after he was granted a work permit.

Pavel Pogrebnyak
PA PhotosPavel Pogrebnyak: A statement of intent

• Royals agree striker terms

Pogrebnyak, 28, had been widely expected to join Fulham after impressing while on loan during the second half of last season, scoring six goals in 12 games, and his capture by Reading "shows where we are going as a club", according to manager Brian McDermott.

The striker, who joins Reading on a free transfer, appeared for Russia at Euro 2012 although his side's participation ended earlier than he would have hoped as they went out at the group stage.

Reading director of football Nick Hammond said: "We were always hopeful that a permit would be secured but it's still great to get the deal done.

"It'll be nice get him in and working with the lads - he's a great individual, and will fit really well into group."

The Moscow-born forward came through the ranks at Spartak Moscow, enjoying a number of loan spells before being sold to Siberian club Tom Tomsk in 2006 where he made his breakthrough.

His goalscoring form earned Pogrebnyak a move to Zenit St Petersburg where he guided them to the league title as well as the 2008 UEFA Cup final against Rangers although he missed the game in Manchester due to suspension.

He moved on to Stuttgart where he spent three years before joining Fulham in January 2012 until the end of the season and the Cottagers were apparently keen to tie the Russia international to a permanent contract after he scored six goals in 12 appearances.

McDermott said: "We're delighted. It's been a long process to get Pavel to the club and now he's officially a Reading player and everyone is looking forward to working with him.

"Having met Pavel, he is a top guy, his work ethic is excellent and I'm sure he will be very important to our group in the coming years."

Pogrebnyak will take a break to recuperate from his involvement in Euro 2012 before joining fellow new arrivals Garath McCleary and Danny Guthrie.