Chelsea head to Berkshire with interim boss Rafael Benitez backing his club's decision not to go overboard in the transfer window.
That is an unusual stance for the Blues, who have never been shy to show the colour of their money, meaning Reading could outdo them if McDermott gets his wish and signs Blackpool's Thomas Ince.
The 20-year-old is one of the hottest properties outside of the top flight and has been heavily linked with moves to the likes of Newcastle, Tottenham and first club Liverpool. But McDermott is hoping that Reading can win the England Under-21 international's signature.
"We'd like to do something there. It would be decent money for this club (to spend)," he said.
While McDermott accepts his club cannot compete with the likes of Liverpool financially, he does think they can match them in every other department.
"Possibly not financially but I think we can compete as far as what we can offer," he said. "It has to feel right for the players, myself and our club, I definitely feel we can compete because we have a good environment for players to develop.
"That has proven over a number of years. A lot of younger players want to come to us because they get that opportunity to develop and do well."
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- Rafael Benitez