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Reading’s capture of Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak on a free transfer is close to being done, according to the club’s director of football Nick Hammond.

Various reports earlier this week suggested that the Royals were closing on the frontman and Hammond has confirmed the imminent move.

The 28-year-old, who spent the second half of last season at Fulham after joining from Stuttgart, is understood to have agreed terms on a four-year deal with the Premier League new-boys.

The Russian had been in talks over a permanent contract at Craven Cottage, where he scored six goals in 12 league outings, but it appears he has been unable to reach a deal.

Pogrebnyak is now poised to join last year’s Championship winners, having reportedly completed a medical at the club on Thursday.

“Things have progressed well and we are hoping to have an agreement finalised soon,” Hammond told getreading.

“Pavel is a good player and both myself and the manager (Brian McDermott) have had some good discussions with him.

“We are hopeful that we will have the deal finalised soon once he is granted a work permit, which we don’t envisage he will have any problems getting.”

The Royals’ signing of Pogrebnyak would be seen as a major coup, with Aston Villa also thought to be keen on the striker.

He would mark the first player to join the club following Anton Zingarevich’s £25million takeover.