Zambia star Stopilla Sunzu could shine for Reading FC

Stopilla Sunzu

Jem Karacan believes Zambia star Stopilla Sunzu would be a top signing for Reading.

The 23-year-old centre-back is currently training with Royals with a view to a permanent transfer in the January window.

He is a national hero back home after he scored the winning spot kick for his country in their African Cup of Nations final triumph over Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast in 2012.

Sunzu, who plays for TP Mazembe in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is due to fly to South Africa on Friday to join up with his national side and their preparations for this year’s ACN tournament.

“He will be a great acquisition if he does sign,” said midfielder Karacan.

“He’s trained with us before a few years ago and we remembered who he was straight away. He is a top guy and always has a massive smile on his face.”

Zambia’s FA chief Kalusha Bwalya said: “Opportunities like this do not come around often in a player’s career so we were happy to let him go. We have agreed that he takes up this chance.

“Reading were quite insistent on seeing him so it is a good sign. Ultimately it is advantageous to our team to have players from clubs at the highest level.”

If Sunzu were to join then he would become the fourth January addition after the capture of Stephen Kelly from Fulham on Friday for £1.2million.

The 29-year-old, who could go straight into the starting line-up for Royals’ game at Newcastle United on Saturday, said: “I’ll hopefully bring a different dimension and I’m looking forward to slotting in.

“There’s not that much between ourselves and the teams around us. Staying in this league means you have to beat the teams around you and we have to play most of the teams around us at home.”

Another of manager Brian McDermott’s targets, Tomas Rogic, has completed a trial with Celtic in Spain. McDermott maintained last week that he was still interested in the 20-year-old attacking midfielder. But with QPR and Fulham also now taking up an interest Royals will face a fight to resurrect any deal.