READING FC are being heavily linked with Manchester United goalkeeper Joel Pereira.

Royals’ interest in the 22-year-old was reported in the Reading Chronicle three weeks ago.

National media are now suggesting a loan deal to bring Pereira to Madejski Stadium for the rest of the season is moving closer.

Reading boss Jose Gomes is looking for a new keeper to replace Vito Mannone, who is among several players placed on the transfer list this week.

Earlier this week it was announced Pereira will be returning to Old Trafford midway through a season’s loan with Portuguese side Vitoria de Setubal.

United, who have at least five keepers on their books, are said to be keen to loan him out again and Reading are among a number of clubs showing a strong interest.

Gomes has already made two signings this week after landing Liverpool’s Ovie Ejaria, 21, and Chelsea’s Lewis Baker, 23 on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

Both are midfielders and could be involved in Saturday’s home clash against Nottingham Forest (3pm ko), who are on the verge of sacking Aitor Karanka, according to reports.

It is understood Gomes is also keen to bring in a striker to bolster his attack and also sign another keeper to replace Mannone, who looks set to return to Italy.

Local Berkshire:

Vito Mannone could be on his way back to Italy.

Speaking after last weekend’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United, Gomes said: “I think we should bring in four or five players. We are ready to take some decisions.

“We have Financial Fair Play so we are trying to find some loan players who can help us.

“But if they are not better than the players we already have, maybe it’s better not to bring in anyone.”

He added: “Even the players we have now can improve, and they will improve. But what I feel right now is this team is missing someone to put the ball in the net.”

Reading chief executive Nigel Howe explained: “This month, we have openly stated our intention to reduce the size of the first team squad whilst aiming to add exceptional quality to our team if the right opportunities in the window arise.”

Meanwhile, Sporting Lisbon are eyeing Royals centre-back Tiago Ilori amid rumours of an unconfirmed £1.5m bid being rejected.

Reading are also said to have turned down a £450,000 offer from Wigan for defender Tyler Blackett.

Dave Edwards (Shrewsbury), Josh Sims (Southampton) and Ben House (Swindon) have all left Reading recently following the departures of Pelle Clement (Zwolle) and Adrian Popa (Ludogorets).