Diogo Gonçalves joined Nottingham Forest in the summer, but could already be on his way back to parent club Benfica.
According to A BOLA, the Primeira Liga side may look to find the winger a new club in January.
Would he be missed at the City Ground?
I don’t imagine there would be many supporters who would lose sleep over Gonçalves making an early departure.
This is no criticism of Gonçalves, who simply hasn’t been given many chances to make an impression, for whatever reason that may be.
Failed to force his way into the team
The 21-year-old joined the Reds in a double swoop which also saw João Carvalho arrive at the club for £13 million.
Unlike his compatriot, Gonçalves has simply not lived up to the hype that was generated by his arrival.
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He has made only two Championship appearances since starting against Bristol City on the opening day of the season.
Only Aitor Karanka knows why that has been the case.
There are many potential explanations for why he hasn’t even been able to make the matchday squad in recent weeks.
He may have struggled to adapt to the physical demands of Championship football, or perhaps he simply hasn’t been producing in training.
Either way, it now seems extremely unlikely that the Reds will make his move a permanent one in the summer.
The chances never came
In Gonçalves’ defence, the only way he could’ve fully adapted to Championship football is with a run of matches.
This is a luxury he hasn’t been afforded.
Since being described as an ‘important player’ by Karanka at the end of September, he has made one substitute appearance in the Championship.
Karanka previously told the Nottingham Post: “He is important for me. But it is also true that the players like Ben Osborn, Matty Cash, Gil Dias and Joe Lolley are playing really well for us.
“He knows that he needs to wait for his chance. He will still be an important player for us this season.”
Best move for both parties
Gonçalves is undoubtedly a player with a lot of potential.
It simply has not worked out for him at the City Ground.
From Gonçalves’ point of view, he’d benefit far more from going on loan elsewhere and getting some first-team football under his belt.
However, Karanka is expected to ring the changes ahead of this weekend’s game against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
This could give Gonçalves one more chance to prove he has what it takes to be a success on Trentside.