Reading have warned a quartet of clubs looking to sign Nicky Shorey that they will not let the full-back leave on the cheap.Aston Villa are all battling for the signature of the 27-year-old, who is keen to leave the Madejski Stadium in a bid to regain his place in the England squad, something he will struggle to do playing in the Championship with the relegated Royals.

Ligue 1 side Nice are also monitoring the situation and were thought to be preparing a £2million bid.

But chief executive Nigel Howe insists Reading will hold out for what they think the left-back is worth.

He told the Daily Star: "You sometimes get clubs who will fly a kite with a stupid offer, but no-one will steal any of our players away. We have a club here we have to protect."