CHELSEA defender Matt Miazga has become Reading FC boss Jose Gomes' fifth loan signing of the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old passed a medical at Hogwood Park this morning before penning a short-term deal until the end of the season.

The USA international had been loaned to French club Nantes – home of tragic striker Emiliano Sala – for the 2018/19 campaign.

But he returned to Stamford Bridge recently after making only eight league appearances and will now join Royals for the relegation battle ahead.

Gomes said: “Matt is a skilful, committed and commanding presence at the centre of defence and I am very pleased we have been able to welcome him into our family.

“I am now looking forward to working with him on the training pitch for the first time.”

Miazga’s arrival will add to speculation linking Tiago Ilori with a move back to Portugal.

Sporting Lisbon are believed to have failed with a £1.5m offer for the 25-year-old centre-back.

But the capture of Miazga could pave the way for Ilori’s departure if the clubs can agree a fee.

Ilori is currently nursing a knock and is battling to be fit for Tuesday night’s relegation six-pointer at Bolton Wanderers.

Gomes explained: “He is injured and I don’t know if he will recover or not before Tuesday.

“He landed on his back and hip at Manchester United and there was a lot of swelling at the time.

“He is trying to train but he’s suffering a bit. We will have to see how he is.”

Responding to Sporting Lisbon’s reported interest, Gomes stated: “About the Portuguese club, again that is normal.

“He is a player Reading brought in, he is our player and we cannot give players to anyone.

“We are in the moment where we need everybody’s help. But in football, anything can happen.”

New Jersey-born Miazga came through the New York red Bulls Academy.

The 6ft 4ins defender made his first-team debut as an 18-year-old but after just 34 appearances was snapped up by Chelsea for £3.5m on a four-and-a-half year deal in January 2016.

One of is two Premier Leaggue appearances came in a 4-0 victory at Aston Villa when John Terry and Gary Cahill were both injured.

He was loaned to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in 2016 for two seasons, making 55 appearances and scoring three goals, and counted fellow Royals loan signing Lewis Baker among his teammates.

Another season-long loan, this time to Ligue 1 side Nantes, materialised last summer, but Miazga left the club recently before moving to the Royals.

Miazga met his new Royals teammates this morning and could make his debut at Bolton next Tuesday.

Reading chief executive Nigel Howe said: “Having already sourced extra quality in the form of a striker, two midfielders and a goalkeeper this month, I’m delighted that Matt now arrives to bolster our defensive ranks for the final 18 games of the season.

“Committed to our cause, I am confident he will be a real asset to the first team dressing room for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign.”

Miazga, who will wear the number 19 shirt, becomes Reading’s third loan signing in a week after Norwich City striker, Nelson Oliveira, and Arsenal keeper, Emiliano Martinez.

He is Gomes’ fifth loan signing in Janaury along with Liverpool’s Ovie Ejaria and Chelsea’s Lewis Baker.

Reading's next game is on Tuesday at Bolton.