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Pogrebnyak completes Reading move as Work Permit gets sorted out

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Reading Football Club confirmed today that the deal to sign striker Pavel Pogrebnyak has been completed, after the Russian international was granted a work permit. The sought after 28-year-old joins the Royals on a free transfer and has agreed a four year contract at Madejski Stadium.

Director of Football Nick Hammond said: "We were always hopeful that a permit would be secured but it's still great to get the deal done. It'll be nice get him in and working with the lads - he's a great individual, and will fit really well into group."

Manager Brian McDermott added, "We're delighted. It's been a long process to get Pavel to the club and now he's officially a Reading player and everyone is looking forward to working with him. Having met Pavel, he is a top guy, his work ethic is excellent and I'm sure he will be very important to our group in the coming years."

Pogrebnyak will take a break to recuperate from his involvement in Euro 2012 before arriving at Hogwood Park for the first time.

There were a number of clubs across Europe interested in the experienced forward, and this signing is a major coup for the club - and simultaneously a signature of intent, especially given a summer that has already seen the arrivals of Garath McCleary and Danny Guthrie.

The frontman had a successful loan spell at Fulham at the tail end of the 2011/12 campaign - scoring six goals in 12 games for the Cottagers.

He had previously made a name for himself in the Russian Premier League, notably with Zenit St. Petersburg - whom he helped steer to victory in the 2008 UEFA Cup - finishing as the tournament's joint top scorer.

The following season he found the net in his club's 2-1 European Super Cup victory over Manchester United, before experiencing Champions League Football against the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid.

Pogrebnyak arrives on a Bosman following the expiration of his contract with Bundesliga outfit Vfb Stuttgart - for whom he scored 19 goals in 56 (+25) appearances.