Albion reignite interest in AJ

The Royals are still licking their wounds following their

Championship play-off final defeat to Swansea last season – but are

keen to hang on to star men Long and defender Matt Mills, or get

top value for them if they do move on. Albion are believed to have

made an enquiry regarding the availability of Long, who netted 26

goals for Brian McDermott’s men last season. But the Royals’

valuation of the 24-year-old, who joined Reading from Cork City

alongside Kevin Doyle for a nominal fee back in 2005, has ruled the

Baggies out of the running. Everton, Wolves and Newcastle have also

been monitoring Long’s situation – but it is German giants Bayern

Munich who appear to be most likely to capture his signature, and

they are reportedly ready to test Reading’s resolve with a

£7.5million opening bid. That is still way out of Albion’s

reach, with the record signing at The Hawthorns still Borja Valero,

who was recruited by Tony Mowbray for £4.7million in 2008 but

proved to be a massive flop in England. So manager Roy Hodgson has

reignited his interest in Fulham frontman Johnson, with an opening

offer of £3million likely to land on Martin Jol’s desk. It

could be a case of friends reunited at The Hawthorns in the next

week as Zoltan Gera is expected to put pen to paper on a two-year

contract with the Baggies, who are also hoping that David Vaughan

chooses them over Sunderland, with a decision from the Blackpool

star expected on Wednesday.