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Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Reading's double deal
Adrian Whitbread has completed move from Portsmouth
By BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach.

Reading have confirmed the signing of midfielder Andy Hughes and defender Adrian Whitbread.

Hughes has signed a three-year deal after moving from Notts County, with the fee set to be decided by a tribunal.

Whitbread, 29, completes a free transfer after a successful spell on loan from Portsmouth last season and has signed a two-year deal.

For Hughes, the move finally brings to an end a long drawn-out transfer saga after Royals boss Alan Pardew had tracked him for much of last season.

Reading and County failed to agree on a fee in time to bring Hughes in before last season's transfer deadline and his summer arrival coincides with fellow midfielder Darren Caskey moving the other way on a free transfer.

But Hughes insists he does not believe he is a replacement for the long-serving Caskey and said: "We are totally different players.

Pardew - delighted
Pardew - delighted
"He was a brilliant player for this club but I am coming here to do my job and am not looking to fill his shoes," Hughes told BBC Sport Online.

Hughes can operate anywhere across the midfield and Royals boss Pardew was keen to keep him guessing as to where he intends to play him.

"He is very adaptable and I have a position in mind for him.

"But he will have to wait and see where that is in case I upset him," Pardew joked.

The Reading boss added: "Andy is an ambitious player who will add more pace to our side and we think he has got a big future ahead of him."

Hughes insists he does not mid which midfield position the manager offers him and is ready to respond to Pardew's challenge to weigh in with his share of goals.

"As long as I play I will be happy, whether it is left, right or in the middle.

"I had my problems with injury last season and didn't play as much as I would have liked, but I scored nine goals and the season before that I scored eight so I would like to get into double figures this term."

See also:

30 May 01 |  Reading
Caskey heads Royals release list
27 May 01 |  Eng Div 2
Walsall break Reading hearts
21 Jun 01 |  Eng Div 2
Reading's Blackpool test
Links to more Reading stories are at the foot of the page.


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