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The club pay their respects to the first-team players released at the end of their contracts but remain hopeful of extending the defender's soon-to-expire contract

Recently relegated Premier League side Reading have announced the departure of six first-team players at the end of the season.

The Royals finished the season in 19th place and director of football Nick Hammond confirmed that Noel Hunt, Ian Harte, Nicky Shorey, Simon Church, Jay Tabb and Joseph Mills will not have their contracts renewed.

"Every one of the players leaving this summer has played in a part in the club's recent success and, on behalf of the club, I would like to wish them all well for the future," he told the club’s official website.

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"Both on and off the pitch, they have shown great professionalism, set excellent examples to our young players and contributed massively to the team.

"Now both they and the club move to the next stage of their futures and the players will be welcome back at Madejski Stadium any time."

Reading are locked in contract negotiations with highly sought-after defender Alex Pearce, with the Republic of Ireland international thought to be demanding an increase in wages on his contract, that expires in the summer.

"We have been speaking to him with regards to his contract throughout the season," Hammond said of the centre-back. "Unfortunately, up until this point we have not managed to find a deal which is mutually acceptable to both parties.

"I am keen, however, now the season has finished, to have a further conversation with Alex and his representatives to understand his thoughts and give him the club's final position."

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