CHRIS Gunter admitted it would be disastrous for Reading FC if they do not keep hold of Jaap Stam beyond the end of the season.

Stam's future has been up in the air recently, especially with the ongoing saga regarding the club's takeover.

The Dutchman once suggested he could depart the club if the ownership situation was not sorted quickly, and he revealed he is yet to be offered an extension to his contract.

The Royals' boss dropped his biggest hint yet he wants to remain in Berkshire recently when he stated he is already looking at strengthening the squad for next season.

And Gunter, 27, said it is vital the Royals keep hold of their manager, who the Welshman firmly believes can step up to the mantle at any club in world football.

"It's not just impressive because it's his first job in management. What he has done for this club is impressive at any time.

"To come in and have the knowledge he does about the teams and the players is really impressive.

"The work he does and the staff, the information we get about the opposition and the little tweaks we have every game, has been consistent the whole way through.

"The consistency of training has been fantastic.

"He would never come and say it himself but every player would say what he's done in such a short time is incredible."

Stam was recently linked with a switch to Premier League outfit West Ham United, but the Dutchman was quick to brush off the rumours.

Gunter added: "I'm sure people will be impressed by what has happened here this season.

"As a player you try not to think about that (Stam leaving).

"If that was to ever happen it wouldn't be very good for us but until that happens you can't think about it.

"I'm sure at some point in his career he can go anywhere because of the respect he has in football.

"He's not going to be at Reading forever."

Stam joined Reading last summer, sparking what many have described as a 'Dutch revolution'.

Local Berkshire:

Reading FC boss Jaap Stam.

He completely transformed Reading's style of play, welcomed his own backroom team and made sweeping changes to the Royals' squad.

Gunter insisted Stam's influence has been vital in guiding Reading to third place in the Championship table.

"He is consistent in how he goes about his work," continued the Welsh international.

"He creates a constant message and as a player that is fantastic because you know what you are going to get.

"Every single Sunday he has had us in training watching the game and watching clips and learning how to improve.

"When we say we want to improve and get better with this manager he makes sure we actually do it."

Reading sit comfortably in third place in the Championship table with just three league games left to play.

The Royals will secure a spot in the play-offs if they beat Gunter's former club Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

And the full-back heaped praise on Stam for developing the squad into a feared Championship side.

"The progression has been really good," he concluded.

"It was important we started quite well to give everyone confidence because it was new.

"We gained some instant belief and time to make mistakes which we have done and we are still going to do because of the way we play.

"The performances have got a lot better.

"The way he has grown the team over the course of the season, where we are now compared to the start of the season is night and day.

"We haven't blown teams away but there have been games where for the most part we have been in complete control.

"We deserve to be where we are."