English Premier League strugglers Reading have joined the race for highly-rated Blackpool winger Tom Ince after submitting a formal offer in the region of £8 million for the England Under-21 international, Sky Sports understands.
Ince, 20, has been heavily linked with a return to his former club Liverpool in recent weeks, but talks between the clubs regarding the 20-year-old winger have stalled.
High-flying Capital One Cup finalists Swansea City entered the race for Ince earlier this month, but now Premier League newboys Reading have submitted a bid of around £8 million for the in-demand attacker.
Ince, the son of former England, Internazionale, Liverpool and Manchester United star Paul Ince, has been absolutely brilliant since arriving at the Lancashire-based club from Liverpool in August 2011.
The England Under-21 international has totaled 23 goals and 18 assists in 70 appearances (58 starts) in all competitions for Blackpool over the past two seasons, including 15 goals and 10 assists in 27 league matches this term.
Blackpool caretaker boss Steve Thompson has insisted that the club will not allow Ince to leave the club ‘on the cheap’ following his sensational match-winning brace against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.
“I have heard the speculation but everything has a price. You see certain players going for big money and he is just as good as them,” said Thompson.
“So if he is going to go, he is not going to go cheap. He is a special talent. If Tom goes, he goes, and he has earned it because he has been fantastic.
“He is still a little baby really and still has a lot to learn. But he has an end product and goals. If someone comes in they will get a special player but we are not going to give special players away for cheap at Blackpool.”
Hamsik staying put
S.S.C. Napoli attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik is fully committed to the club despite being the subject of interest from some of Europe’s top clubs, Sky Sports reports.
Hamsik, 25, has been on scintillating form for the Partenopei this season.
The Slovakia international took his season’s tally to eight goals and 10 assists (in 22 league games) after netting in Napoli’s 2-1 win over Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Sunday
“I’ve been here for several years. I’m growing together with Napoli,” said Hamsik.
“Napoli are becoming a big club and I’m happy to be part of this team. I have a contract until 2016.”
Hamsik joined Napoli from Brescia on a five-year deal for a miniscule fee of €5.5 million after the club earned promotion to Serie A in June 2007.
Since arriving in Naples, he has been a key figure for both club and country, racking up 58 goals and 39 assists in 202 league appearances for Napoli and 10 goals in 60 international caps for Slovakia.
Premier League champions Manchester City are reportedly closely monitoring his situation at Napoli.