The club can confirm that midfielder Hope Akpan has today joined Premier League Reading.
Hope joined Crawley in June 2011 after Everton released him and made 60 appearances for the club, including 14 as substitute, and scored eight goals.
He has signed a three and a half year contract with the Royals after undergoing a successful medical earlier today.
Manager Richie Barker said: “No manager likes to sell his best players but we received a very good offer from Reading and this is also a great move for Hope personally.
“Reading had obviously been looking at him before last Saturday’s FA Cup tie and judging by his performance in that game they clearly decided he was good enough to become part of their Premier League squad.
“Hope has come on leaps and bounds when you consider that he wasn’t a regular in League Two last season. He has got himself very fit, worked extremely hard at a lot of aspects of his game and all the management staff here at the club should take credit for the work we have done with him because it has helped him get a move into the best league in the world and we wish him all the best.”
Richie confirmed that a second bid from a different un-named Championship club had been received for defender Kyle McFadzean but was turned down.
The manager also re-iterated that the club are working hard to strengthen the squad.
He added: “Obviously I am disappointed to be losing one of my best players, as any manager would be, but that is a fact of life for Crawley Town, competing as we are in League One with some massive clubs. I’m sure our supporters understand that.
“It is now my job to try and replace him and make areas of the team stronger and we are working on a few things at the moment. These things take time and we have to remember that the transfer window is open for the whole of January but we are quite a way down the line with a couple of things although it’s too early to say whether we will have anyone in place for the game at Tranmere on Saturday.”
Reds Player subscribers can see an interview with Richie about Hope's departure and an update on the transfer window by clicking here