Reading have finally completed the signing of Aston Villa star Leandro Bacuna, who they have been chasing for much of the summer transfer window.
• Reading had failed with at least one previous bid
• Bacuna becomes their fifth signing of the summer
• He could make his debut against Villa on Tuesday
Having seen at least one bid rejected by the Midlands club in recent weeks, the Royals have now succeeded in their pursuit of the 25-year-old who has penned a four-year contract at the Madejski Stadium. The former Groningen player had been at Villa since 2014 and had played over 120 times for them, but he is now relishing a fresh opportunity at his new employers.
“I think it’s going to be a different step for me, and I’m delighted to get going,” he said. “There have been a few ups and downs but in the end we got it over the line. It’s a really nice step to try and come here to play for Jaap Stam as well. Reading try to play from the back and they’re really patient. I think that will suit me and it will suit the players, I’ll try and do my best to help the team.”
Reading, who were last season’s beaten playoff finalists, began their quest for promotion with a 2-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers and followed this up with a 1-1 draw against Fulham. Stam believes the addition of Bacuna, who played 85 times for Villa in the Premier League, will become a key member of his squad as his versatility will provide him with a range of options.
“Leandro is a player that we have been following for a while,” said Stam. “He has played Premier League football and brings quality to us. He is the type of player who can play in several positions in the team – in midfield, at the back, or even sometimes as a winger. He is a player with the right mentality and who wants to go forward; these are the types of players that we want to have.”
Bacuna becomes Reading’s fifth signing of the summer, following Vito Mannone, Pelle Clement, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, and Modou Barrow. He could make his debut for his new club on Tuesday evening when the visitors to the Madejski Stadium will be none other than…Aston Villa.