By David Kwalimwa
Kenya and Inter Milan midfielder Macdonald Mariga is closing in on a loan move to the English Premier League.
Goal.com can exclusively reveal that Reading, who were promoted to the top flight of the league this season and currently sit in 18th place, are currently locked in negotiations with the former European champions over a loan deal for the 25 year-old, with an option of making the move permanent at the end of the current campaign.
A reliable source close to the player has revealed the current situation involving the former Parma FC ace.
"Mariga needs playing time as he is now fully fit and recovered from injury. He has options on the table, Fulham were very interested but the deal now seems unlikely as the London club have acquired a central midfielder (Emmanuel Frimpong from Arsenal)."
"Reading are also very interested and its looking likely that the player will finally get his wish to play in England."
Goal.com understands that Inter Milan are reluctant to lose Mariga permanently, and have even rejected a big money offer from an unnamed Russian club.
It is thought the club hierarchy and technical staff view the player as a long term asset to the team, especially at this moment when most of the first team squad are approaching the sunset of the careers. Mariga has been loaned out twice- to Real Socieadad in Spain and former club Parma - during his stint at the San Siro.
Mariga recently recovered from an eight month injury lay off sustained while on loan at Parma FC last season. The player told Goal.com last October that he is keen to play regular football, either at the San Siro or elsewhere.
"Fiorentina and Napoli (for example), I am told the doors are always open. But my main aim is to play regularly, I missed playing a lot (this past year), I now need to get regular playing time." The lanky midfielder has managed four appearances (three from the bench) since his return from injury.