FORMER Swansea City manager Francesco Guidolin is being lined up as the next Reading FC manager, according to reports.

Italian media are suggesting the 63-year-old could be ushered in if Paul Clement loses Saturday’s home fixture against Ipswich Town.

One Italian football outlet suggests Royals’ sporting director Gianluca Nani has already made contact with Guidolin about taking over reins at Madejski Stadium.

However, the Chronicle understands there is little truth in the rumour, though it is believed Reading have drawn up a list of potential candidates to contact should Clement’s team, currently 22nd in the table, continue to struggle for much longer.

Ex-Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce and former Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy have also been linked with the Reading hotseat.

However, Clement still has the full backing of the club’s Chinese owners and appears to have a close working relationship with Nani.

The pair can often be seen discussing tactics before matches and regularly share ideas on a variety of topics.

Nani arrived at Reading in September to replace Brian Tevreden when he departed following an alleged fall out with Reading chief executive, Ron Gourlay, to join KSV Roeselare, the Belgium club also belonging to Royals’ owners.

Clement told the Chronicle last week: “It’s different to the relationship I had with Brian.

“His way of working was a that he was there if I needed him. We worked closely together when the transfer window was open, but he had other responsibilities with the Belgian club and for a number of reasons it wasn’t quite working, so that changed.

“Gianluca has a lot of experience in England, Europe and the Middle East as well. He’s been great to work with.

“You need someone to bounce ideas off and see things from a different perspective to help make good decisions. We’re in very close communication, I speak to him maybe more than some of my family.”

However, Clement stressed he is solely responsible for selecting the team.

“I pick the team and whatever team I pick he is always supportive,” he added. “I do the same with Nigel Gibbs, Michael Gilkes, Dave Beasant and Karl Halabi, we talk about what the team should be and get their ideas. Ultimately I have to make the decision.”

Guidolin launched his managerial career with Giorgione in the Italian lower leagues in 1988.

He has since managed a string of clubs including Treviso, Fano, Empoli, Ravenna, Atalanta, Vicenza, Udinese, Bologna, Palermo, Genoa, Monaco, Palermo again, Parma, Udinese again then joined Swansea City in January 2016.

He steered the Swans to Premier League safety that season but was sacked in October and replaced with Bob Bradley, who then lost his job in January 2017 and replaced with Clement.