Reading manager Brian McDermott admits admiration for Norwich City full-back Steven Whittaker

Steven Whittaker of Norwich and Jeff Schlupp of Leicester City ]in action during the Barclays Premie

Steven Whittaker of Norwich and Jeff Schlupp of Leicester City ]in action during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich in October, which the Foxes won 2-1. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Speculation linking out-of-favour Norwich City full-back Steven Whiitaker with Championship side Reading looks set to increase after Royals boss Brian McDermott admitted his admiration for the Scotland international.

The 31-year-old was a regular as City were promoted via the Championship play-offs last season but has not featured in the Premier League since the Canaries were beaten 6-2 at Newcastle in mid-October.

With Portuguese right-back Ivo Pinto arriving from Dinamo Kiev for around £2.2million this month and Norwich boss Alex Neil also having the options of captain Russell Martin and Liverpool loanee Andre Wisdom, Whittaker has been strongly linked with a move during the transfer window.

The experienced defender moved to Norfolk in the summer of 2012, on a free transfer after leaving Scottish giants Rangers due to their financial meltdown.

He has since made 91 appearances for the Canaries, scoring six goals, including in the 3-1 win at Sunderland in the top flight earlier this season.

Whittaker has not featured at all since coming on as a substitute during extra-time at Everton in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup at the end of October however, scoring in a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat.

'I know Steven well and he's a good player, but he's a Norwich player,' Reading boss McDermott told Get Reading.

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'If we could get two really good right-backs, along with the two really good left-backs we have and strikers who score then all of a sudden you've got something going.

'That's what we're trying to do. We have to try and get something going for the short-term and the long-term.'

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