Reading midfielder Brian Howard has confirmed he was close to joining hometown club Southampton on loan at the weekend.
Howard was back in the Royals' starting line-up on Saturday in a win at his former club Barnsley and revealed afterwards that the Saints had been in contact.
He said: "There was an interest in taking me.
"The manager knows me and he knows that I want to play football but he said he was happy with my performances and I was unlucky not to be in the team.
"He didn't want to let me go but said to me that if I really wanted to go I could.
"But I said if I was going to be involved I was happy to stay and as far as I am concerned I am a Reading player."