Date: 14th June 2007 at 10:29am
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Sunderland`s first summer signing, former Colchester United player Greg Halford has revealed that Reading “weren`t bothered whether I stayed or not,” before his surprise move from London to Wearside.

Hallford, 22, spent just five months with the Royals before his move and medical on Monday and explained in yesterday`s Daily Mail that he had only received the keys to his new home in Reading last Friday. By Sunday, he was a Sunderland player.

Halford, a former youth team skipper in Essex and Under 20 England international, said: ‘The move was forced upon me.

“Sunderland came in for me and Reading decided to make a bit of profit. I met with Steve and Nicky and they said they were ‘neutral’ and they were going to go on my reaction.

‘I wanted to stay at Reading and I was sure I would break into the first team but the manager has his favourites.

‘I got the impression they weren`t bothered whether I stayed or not and that told me everything, so I caught the next flight to Sunderland on Sunday.’

The move is good news for Colchester United, since the Essex side get £500,000 of the overall transfer fee due to a sell-on clause in the original contract signed with Reading last January.