Jimmy Kebe: Crystal Palace make bid for Reading winger

Jimmy Kebe

Crystal Palace are in preliminary talks with Reading for winger Jimmy Kebe - who has told BBC Sport he is keen on a return to the Premier League.

Kebe, 29, has not played for the Championship club this season.

The Mali international had been due to play at Peterborough in the League Cup but boss Nigel Adkins questioned the player's decision to pull out injured.

"I felt my hamstring tweak on Monday and felt it better not to risk it," Kebe confirmed to BBC Sport.

Kebe says he is fully committed to the club and added he would never refuse to train or play for Reading and hopes to make his first appearance of the season on Saturday.

"I've been fit for two weeks but the manager did not pick me," added Kebe.

"I trained on Saturday and felt my hamstring tweak on Monday. I told him early that it is better for me to stay calm for a few days. We need some points in the league and felt Saturday was more important than Tuesday [against Peterborough].

"There is no big story. There are lots of things going on but I am available for the manager. It's up to him. I will never refuse to train or play."

When asked whether he would like to sign for Palace, Kebe added: "I said in the summer I wanted to stay in the Premier League. Everyone wants to play in the Premier League, but I am still focused on the team. I've never said I wanted to leave the club.

"I will not talk about other clubs, but, yes, I want to play in the Premier League but right now I am a Reading player."

Palace have been keen to add to their attacking options out wide having lost Wilfried Zaha to Manchester United.

They have already signed Southampton winger Jason Puncheon on loan until the end of the season.

The club made a bid for Kebe last week and are hopeful a deal can be completed before the transfer window closes on 2 September.

Palace boss Ian Holloway admitted they are desperately trying to add to their squad with their priority a winger.

"The main thing for me is that we lost two of players who were really influential last year, which is Glenn Murray with his injury and Wilf [Zaha, who has joined Manchester United]," Holloway told BBC London 94.9.

"You add the new lad I bought in Jerome Thomas and Yannick Bolasie to that and we are not quite the same. You haven't got to be a genius to work that out that when we do all this passing, it gets out wide and then we have got to pass it again.

"I will try and do what I can and the chairman [co-chairman Steve Parish] is helping me as much as he can."

Holloway's side were beaten 2-1 by Bristol City in the League Cup on Tuesday and he admitted afterwards that he had been frustrated in his attempts to sign new players over the summer.

"We have had a right go at it," added Holloway.

"We are trying to spend money - we are really trying - but it is very difficult to get any sort of deal over the line.

"It's not that we are falling out over it. It is not like that at all.

"We couldn't work any harder on things and so far maybe four or five have fallen through. It makes a huge difference. What we have got to do is stay calm and encourage the lads."

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