Charlie Savage at centre of EFL transfer row immediately after Man Utd exit

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Charlie Savage at centre of EFL transfer row immediately after Man Utd exit
Charlie Savage at centre of EFL transfer row immediately after Man Utd exit

Charlie Savage has been left in limbo by Reading's new transfer embargo – and Royals boss Ruben Selles is furious he could miss the big kick-off.

Just 48 hours after they signed the former Wales international Robbie Savage's son and midfielder Lewis Wing, Reading – who were only cleared to bring in new players after a transfer embargo was lifted last month - were hit by another one.

And the EFL are refusing to register both Savage and Wing until an unpaid tax bill has been settled with HMRC.

As things stand, that means Savage – who left Manchester United last month with two years left on his contract – and Wing will be unavailable for the Royals' League One opener against Peterborough.

And new manager Selles, who warned last month that he needed “at least 10 new players” to mount a promotion challenge, is still nowhere near completing his squad rebuild.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash erideuiqtqiqdrinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

Savage's father refused to comment, but earlier this week he said on BBC's Six-0-Six phone-in: “I'm very worried about the mental well-being of a young boy who took a brave decision, the biggest gamble of his life, to leave Manchester United - and now he's not able to play.

“After signing for Reading, he was allowed to train and play in friendlies, but now he can't. How has that happened?”

Savage, 20, made his move to Berkshire after Reading's transfer embargo was lifted last month, following settlement of overdue tax payments. But 48 hours after he signed, the club was plunged into a new embargo, with the added hammer-blow that neither Savage nor Wing would be registered to play for Reading by the EFL until the taxman was paid in full.

‌Fans are expected to protest against owner Dai Yongge's chaotic regime at the game with Posh, but it may come too late to help Savage make his debut. Reading are understood to be insistent that their latest HMRC bill will be settled “in the coming days” - but Savage will have to sit tight until then.

‌One source said: “If the EFL were going to raise a red flag, surely they should have done so when the paperwork for the boy's contract went in? It can't be right that, 48 hours before the season kicks off, he doesn't know if he's going to be allowed to play.

‌“They can't just cancel the transfer – he's left Manchester United. Have they taken into consideration the effect on a 20-year-old player's mental health? The EFL allowed Reading to sign players knowing there was a chance of another transfer embargo.

"Of course the club must abide by the rules, but what about young players with mortgages to pay or young families to feed?”

Mike Walters

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