The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ben Baker

YANN Ker­mor­gant says he is des­per­ate to pro­pel Read­ing into the Premier League at the end of the sea­son, as the striker pre­pares for a per­fect farewell.

The French­man sur­prised those at Read­ing’s press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day with the news that he plans to re­tire at the end of the 2017-18 cam­paign.

De­spite be­ing 35, Ker­mor­gant has not lost his knack for find­ing the back of the net, bring­ing up dou­ble fig­ures for the sea­son with the opener in Read­ing’s 2-0 win over Sh­effield Wed­nes­day on March 17.

He signed a new deal in Fe­bru­ary to keep him at the club un­til next sum­mer.

He has helped the Roy­als fly high this sea­son and they look set for a spot in the play-offs, mean­ing Premier League foot­ball could re­turn to Read­ing next term.

But, what­ever hap­pens, Ker­mor­gant ad­mits next sea­son will be his last as he pre­pares to move into the in­vest­ment world.

“I’m go­ing to re­tire next sea­son, even if I score 20 goals,” said Ker­mor­gant, who was signed from Bournemouth in Jan­uary 2016 for around £500,000 on an 18-month con­tract, hav­ing helped the Cher­ries gain pro­mo­tion to the Premier League.

“That’s why I would love to get pro­mo­tion and fin­ish in the Premier League. It will be a dream.

“What­ever hap­pens, next sea­son will be my last. Af­ter foot­ball, I think I will go into in­vest­ment.

“I don’t know how many chances I’ll get to play next sea­son be­cause of my age.

“At the start of the sea­son, one of my aim­swas to be good enough to get an­other year be­cause I wasn’t ready to re­tire this sea­son.

“I’ve been away from my fam­ily and my friends for a long time. It’s dif­fi­cult for me and for my wife.”

TIME UP: Yann Ker­mor­gant

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