Former Sheffield Wednesday man closes in on Championship move after captaining in friendly - all quiet on second ex-Owl
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Sam Hutchinson, who was vice-captain at Hillsborough last season and whose departure from the club over the summer surprised a few after he largely impressed in 28 League One matches, is on trial at Reading.
The Championship outfit, who are operating under the terms of an EFL registration embargo that means players can only be signed on a free agent or loan basis and that all deals must be ratified by the EFL themselves, are busy putting together vital additions to their squad and have a handful of players on trial.
Hutchinson wore the captain’s armband for 20 minutes of their friendly run-out with Portuguese giants Benfica over the weekend and is said to have played well – both in midfield and defence – despite a 2-0 defeat.
Ince appears keen to inject further second tier experience into his squad and former Chelsea academy man Hutchinson surely provides that, having made 174 appearances at Championship level.
It comes after his fellow Wednesday departees Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Joe Wildsmith confirmed deals to join League One promotions hopefuls Derby County.
But there is speculation over the goings-on surrounding Australian international Massimo Luongo, who too was understood to be on trial at Reading but did not feature in that most recent friendly.
Luongo did play in the Royals’ opening pre-season run-out, a 2-0 win over Colchester United that was played behind closed doors.
His absence from the squad that played Benfica raises questions over whether club or player have moved on from the prospect of a potential deal, especially now given their trialling of Hutchinson as a central midfielder.
There had been some suggestions that Luongo had been the subject of interest from another Championship crisis club, Birmingham City.
Former Wednesday striker Connor Wickham has also been on trial at Reading in recent weeks.