• Adkins ready to accept if he overcomes Southampton hitch
• Royals call a press conference for early Tuesday morning
Nigel Adkins has been offered the job as Reading manager and he has indicated a readiness to accept it. The Berkshire club have called a press conference for Tuesday morning at which they are expected to unveil Adkins after a complication that related to his acrimonious sacking at Southampton was ironed out.
Reading have held an interest in Adkins since they dismissed Brian McDermott two weeks ago and, although they were so impressed by Gus Poyet that they pursued him seriously last week only for the Brighton & Hove Albion manager to turn them down, they have kept Adkins at the forefront of their thoughts.
The Reading owner, Anton Zingarevich, has taken charge of the appointment that he hopes can help the club to beat relegation back into the Championship and he considers Adkins to be a natural fit for the post: an intelligent manager with a good work ethic, who favours bright and positive football.
Adkins' pedigree in English football has not gone unnoticed at Reading. Having served his apprenticeship at Scunthorpe, he led Southampton to back-to-back promotions to the Premier League in the past two seasons. Adkins has the experience of working with a passionate and opinionated chairman at Southampton in Nicola Cortese, even if the relationship turned sour when he was sacked in January and replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.
Adkins had to free himself from the fall-out from his departure at Southampton before he was legally permitted to accept fresh employment but that did not prove to be an obstacle.
Poyet declined the opportunity to swap Brighton for Reading, largely because of his belief that, if he were unable to keep the club in the Premier League, he would have a relegation on his CV, although the demotion would not have been his fault. Reading lag seven points off safety with eight matches to play.
The Uruguayan was tempted by the promise of greater clout in the transfer market while he was slighted by Brighton's readiness to grant Reading the permission to talk to him and, potentially, seek a compensation pay-out of around £2.5m for the remaining three-and-a-bit years on his contract.
Poyet, though, is still striving to reach the Premier League with Brighton – they sit outside the Championship play-off places on goal difference – while Adkins has much less to lose. Discussions have been on-going between him and Reading, and he knows that even in the event of relegation, he would have a good quality Championship squad, which Zingarevich would help him to bolster. Zingarevich did not support McDermott with big money in the past two transfer windows but he was not his appointment.
The upside for Adkins, if he could avoid relegation, would be glorious and he has also had to ask himself whether another Premier League club might offer him a job. Reading travel to Arsenal on Saturday and, a week later, they face 16th-placed Southampton at home, a match for which Adkins would need no motivation.