Danny Welbeck could be on his way to play for Reading over the rest of the season which casts doubt over his future as a Manchester United player.
Welbeck has been restricted to a handful of appearances for United this term, frequently coming off the bench as an impact player over starting in the first eleven; he’s started seven games and made eight sub appearances.
Welbeck’s future could be in even more doubt this summer as United are reportedly ready to make bids and approaches for the likes of David Villa from Barcelona and Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund.
The arrival of either striker would mean a player having to leave and these latest reports of a possible loan deal with Reading suggest Welbeck is the fourth choice striker at United behind Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez.
Supporters of Welbeck will quite rightfully point to the fact that the player has not said he wants to leave United and Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the player is a key member of his squad for the rest of the season.
This may suggest that the Premier League transfer rumour mill is going into overdrive as there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason as to why Welbeck would be forced out at Old Trafford.
He has featured prominently in recent games as Van Persie has enjoyed a brief rest and as Wayne Rooney continues his recovery from a recent knee injury.
It is that very knee injury which is the stumbling block for this story because Ferguson would never let Welbeck leave the club with only two fit strikers available in his squad.
He has proven to be effective in all competitions for United this season and he can also play a wider role in the attack which means he is more versatile than any of the other strikers at the club.
There is also the key question of whether Reading even need another striker with the likes of Noel Hunt, Adam Le Fondre, Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak all competing for a starting place at the Premier League strugglers.
If Reading manage to pull it off then Brian McDermott deserves a gold medal for the achievement but it all seems to have more going against it than for it.
If Reading don’t sign Welbeck, who do you think they should target?
image: © crystian cruz