ALBION have sold Sam Baldock to Reading for a fee which could rise to nearly £5 million.

The striker had a medical yesterday before completing a move to the Championship club which will satisfy his wish for more game time.

He is poised to feature in the first Championship fixture of the season on Friday evening, when Reading entertain Frank Lampard's Derby County.

Albion bought Baldock for around £1.5 million from Bristol City four years ago.

The Argus understands the Seagulls will receive a sizeable guaranteed payment from Reading which, supplemented by additional clauses, would elevate the overall figure for Baldock's exit to approaching £5 million.

The 29-year-old has been plagued by injury niggles during his time at the Amex and, after playing a significant part in helping the Seagulls to promotion from the Championship, made only two substitute appearances in the Premier League last season.

His prospects of involvement this season have been further eroded by the signings of Florin Andone and Alireza Jahanbakhsh, which have expanded Chris Hughton's attacking options.

Baldock's move is not linked to Albion's quest to sign Reading central defender Liam Moore, who has asked for a transfer.

Three bids by the Seagulls for the 25-year-old former Leicester stopper have already been turned down. Unless Reading drop an asking price reportedly in the region of £15 million then a deal is unlikely for a player who would start as third or fourth choice at the Amex.

Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell, one of Albion's alternatives to Moore, is a year younger and potentially more viable.

Baldock's departure launches the process of Albion shedding fringe members of the squad.

Jiri Skalak's move to Millwall is ongoing for a fee which, with add-ons, will eclipse the Lions' club record of £800,000.

Northern Ireland midfielder Oliver Norwood is also attracting interest and so too is Israeli target man Tomer Hemed as the season draws closer.