Sky Sports understands a host of Football League clubs are tracking non-league hot-shot Scott Fenwick.
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has revealed that the club have opened contract talks with captain Grant Leadbitter.
Brian McDermott has backed Anton Zingarevich over his refusal to loosen the purse strings in response to Reading's position in the table.
The Royals are anchored to the foot of the table following Monday's 5-2 defeat by Arsenal with midfielder Jimmy Kebe insisting they are a "good Championship team trying to compete in the Premier League".
McDermott is targeting two or three new arrivals with top-flight experience for the January transfer window, but insists Zingarevich will not break the bank to sign them.
"I'm having discussion with Anton. We all want the club to succeed," the Reading manager said.
"We're never going to put the club in a situation where it will be full of debt. This club has never been full of debt. We don't work that way.
"The owner wants the club to be run as a business, like it has been under (chairman) Sir John Madejski, and that isn't going to change.
"When you're a team that are where we are in the league, it's not going to be easy to attract certain players to the club
"Anyone who does come to the club will have to be the sort of person who wants to fight and have belief."