Transfer deadline day proved to be a tough one for Stephen Hunt of Reading. The Everton manager David Moyes came in with an offer for him (€4.4m) with the balance to follow (bringing the overall total to €6.25m) but Reading wanted the full amount up front for the 27-year-old Waterford man.
Royals’ manager Steve Coppell and the club would not budge and as a result the deal was put on hold until January at least when the transfer widow opens up again. Said Stephen: “It was a big club that bid for me and it was disappointing that Reading could not have helped me out a little bit to benefit my career. For what I have done for them it would have been nice. The club got me for free and it would have been nice to be rewarded. I suppose you could say I am a little bit wounded and disappointed.
“Having said that if a club wanted me that badly they would have paid the sum wanted. I did myself justice in the Premier League where I am determined to get back with Reading or without Reading. I respect the manager and know where he is coming from, but I am still disappointed. I will refocus on my career now for the next four months. I’ll put my head down and work hard. If someone pays the money that furthers by career, then all the better. I know what I want from football and I am back in the zone where I am angry and disappointed but that may benefit Reading in the long run,” he lamented Stephen on the day after the deadline had passed.
He was speaking at the Republic of Ireland’s training ground at Malahide ahead of their journey to Germany for the Mainz showdown with Georgia. On the Thursday of the session he received the good news from Giovanni Trapattoni that he would start the game in the World Cup qualifying match. At least the week had some sort of happy ending for him. His cap against Georgia was his 13th. Lucky or what! Ireland won the game 2-1 and Stephen enjoyed a fine match, as indeed did John O’Shea. Unfortunately Daryl Murphy was not called from the bench but he will play a major role in the World Cup campaign.