Crystal Palace and Chelsea eye Reading defender Michael Hector

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park

HITC Sport understands Crystal Palace and Chelsea are lining up late moves for Reading defender Michael Hector.

Reading defender Michael Hector has emerged as a target for Crystal Palace and Chelsea as they look to bolster their respective squads before the close of the transfer window, HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club.

Palace boss Alan Pardew has been looking to bring in a new central defender all summer as he aims to find cover and competition for Scott Dann and Damien Delaney.

The likes of Adrian Mariappa and Paddy McCarthy are expected to move on and their departures would leave Palace short of options at centre-back.

Chelsea have also been in the market for centre-half cover, having pursued Everton's John Stones for some time, and they may be tempted to make a move for a man who could fill a squad role at Stamford Bridge.

Hector has come to the attention of both clubs after impressing for Reading in the Championship for the last 18 months and breaking into the Jamaica squad.

The 23-year-old is highly-regarded at Reading and was rewarded for his progress with a new deal earlier this summer to keep him at the club until 2018.

However, Palace and Chelsea are ready to test Reading's resolve to hang on to Hector by making offers around the £4 million mark for the defender's services.

As part of their proposed deal, Palace could allow Hector to return to Reading on loan for the season so that they do not need to find a replacement for the player.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch