Pavel Pogrebnyak would love to have stayed at Fulham, but the club were unwilling to match the sky-high wages offered by Premier League newcomers Reading, according to his agent.
The 28-year-old Russian, who underwent a medical at the Madejski Stadium this week, made a great impact on his arrival at Craven Cottage, scoring six goals in 12 appearances, including a hat-trick against Wolves.
Having arrived on loan from Bundesliga side Stuttgart in January, he was seen as the perfect replacement for Bobby Zamora, who left permanently for QPR in the same transfer window.
Fulham boss Martin Jol did acknowledge the terms of his deal with Fulham represented a gamble that the tall striker might be lured away by another club – and now he has.
“There are maybe a number of reasons why we have decided to move to Reading, but in the end, the difference in wages was too great and we could not ignore it,” Hamburg-based agent Dr Oliver Wendt said.
“We did go back to Fulham, but they were not prepared to improve their offer.
“He was happy at Fulham and had a really great time there. Maybe he could have signed a new deal, but we have to consider the amount being offered at Reading
Dr Wendt, whose clients also include Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko – two other Russians who have played in England – added: “The intention was always just to play regularly again, to ensure he was picked for the Euros, as he was not starting enough games in Stuttgart.
“It worked out well for him. He and his family have enjoyed life in England.”