Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - FOOTBALL SPY - BY ALEX CROOK

READ­ING have made an ap­proach for Vi­to­ria Guimaraes boss Luis Cas­tro as the cull at the Made­jski Sta­dium con­tin­ued.

The Roy­als are ready to pay Cas­tro’s £900,000 re­lease clause af­ter sport­ing di­rec­tor Gian­luca Nani fol­lowed man­ager Paul Cle­ment out of the club.

The lat­ter was axed as man­ager af­ter Read­ing’s dire run of four wins from 20 Cham­pi­onship games.

Nani, who was only ap­pointed four months ago, had wanted to ap­point Steve Bruce to re­place Cle­ment.

But Nigel Howe, who re­cently re­turned to the Berk­shire club as chief ex­ec­u­tive, picked out Cas­tro (above) as his top tar­get. The 57-year-old Por­tuguese had a brief spell in charge of Porto in 2014. JOSE MOUR­INHO has been told not to waste his time with an­other bid for Le­ices­ter’s Harry Maguire next month.

Manch­ester United made a move last sum­mer for the cen­tre-back (above), but he signed a new deal worth £20mil­lion.

And Foxes boss Claude Puel is con­fi­dent of keep­ing Eng­land ace Maguire, 25, in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow as well.

Puel said: “We can­not have guar­an­tees but I think Harry de­cided this sum­mer to re­main with us and play with us for an­other sea­son. He is happy with us.”

MARIO BALOTELLI will leave Nice in the sum­mer – if not be­fore – ac­cord­ing to the club’s pres­i­dent. Nice pres­i­dent Jean­pierre Ri­vere said of the for­mer Manch­ester City striker’s (left) fu­ture: “I think it will be over.”

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