Steve Clarke will reportedly remain in charge of Reading after a breakdown in talks with Fulham over the vacant managerial position.

The 52-year-old was widely expected to take over at the West London outfit prior to the weekend, having been earmarked as the Cottagers’ number one choice.

Soon after Clarke cancelled his weekly Madejski Stadium press conference on Thursday morning, fresh reports emerged suggesting that Nigel Pearson was the frontrunner to succeed the ex-Chelsea coach as Royals boss.

According to Sky Sports News, a fresh twist to the fast-developing saga has now seen Clarke make a shock U-turn and reject Fulham’s approach, meaning that he will remain in place in Berkshire for this weekend’s visit of Bolton Wanderers.

It is suggested that the move is not completely dead in the water, though, and Reading’s Championship rivals could make a fresh approach – with improved terms – in the coming days.