MATT Phillips going to Reading for £1m? You must be joking! That was Ian Holloway’s reaction to a national newspaper report which suggested the Royals are preparing a summer swoop for the Seasiders winger.
Reading, on the verge of promotion to the Premier League after opening up a six-point gap over third-placed West Ham, haven’t a hope of landing Phillips for that sort of cash.
And with a play-off push to concentrate on, Holloway isn’t going to waste time worrying about what might happen after the season ends.
The Pool boss said: “Whether we go up or stay down, others might come after our players. But that has happened at every club I’ve been at, so I’m not going to fret about it. If I did, I would never be able to sleep and life is hard enough anyway.
“But do you need to ask me (about Phillips) anything given which paper it came from (The Sun)? They had me with my face contorted telling their readers we were going to be the worst team ever in the Premier League.
“I think they put £1m (on the Phillips story). What a load of nonsense. Do they think we are stupid?
“Do I have to spell it out? This kid is English – though he’s choosing to play for Scotland – so he is going to be quite valuable, isn’t he? He is an athlete, he is 6’1”, still only 21, still learning and can score goals. What more do we have to say about him? I am delighted we’ve got him and at the minute he is ours.
“We are in a good situation with his contract (Phillips has a year left, then a further 12-month option). He is a fantastic lad. He is level-headed.
“He hasn’t asked to leave. In the summer he might well have to and we will then make a decision.
“Hopefully it will suit the club and him. And if it doesn’t, he won’t be going anywhere. If Reading are up and are going to start buying better players, then good luck to them. But it hasn’t even happened yet, so why do we need to even worry about it?”