independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Karacan tips McCarthy for the top

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy's reputation is growing at Reading

Reading have a £20million future England goalkeeper in Alex McCarthy, according to team-mate Jem Karacan.

The Royals have endured a disappointing season back in the Barclays Premier League, with the form of their 23-year-old goalkeeper one of the few things to shout about. After a number of loan spells taking him from Yeovil to Leeds, McCarthy has impressed in the Reading first-team despite only making 11 top-flight appearances this term.

He would have more had it none been for a shoulder injury from which he returned in such stunning fashion against Liverpool. McCarthy was outstanding again in Saturday's 4-2 win at Fulham and has been linked with a summer move to both clubs - something that does not surprise Karacan. "He's amazing - unbelievable," he said of the goalkeeper.

"It's surprising for myself when you see the likes of Jack Butland getting called-up ahead of him. I think he showed again with three unbelievable saves. You can see the top clubs knocking on the door. But he is playing here and proved himself to be an unbelievable goalkeeper in the Premier League.

"It would be a coup if we could keep him, but he loves it here, is playing here and that's all he ever wanted to do. You never know. He will get a lot of games next year, but there will be clubs knocking on the door and definitely a future number one."

Asked how much he is worth, Karacan added: "Around 15 to £20million? You see how much young English players go for - there are some crazy sums out there. I don't see why he shouldn't be in that bracket. It would definitely take a lot of money to get him away from Reading - that's how our club works."

McCarthy is not the only Reading player reportedly attracting interest, with Karacan himself regularly linked to Turkish giants Galatasaray. The English-born midfielder is part of the Turkey set-up and made no secret of his desire to ply his trade there at some point.

"It happens every year and I keep getting bugged about it," Karacan said. "I'm a Reading player, though.

"I signed a deal last summer and everyone wants to play in the best league in the world and it's gutting to not have that next year. Reading is a Premier League club and we know we should be there and we will try our hardest to get back up.

"Anything can happen in the summer. I'm a Reading player and I will be as happy as ever if I'm still here."

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