January transfer talk at Nottingham Forest has been bubbling away steadily.

Having decided to switch managers with the window open, the Reds took a while to get into their stride.

They are still to hit a sprint, but the pace has been picked up.

One deal is already over the line, with Yohan Benalouane arriving on an 18-month contract from Leicester.

Defensive reinforcements were required and that is exactly what Martin O’Neill got.

Hardly the most glamorous of additions but a box ticked nonetheless.

With the ranks of centre-halves bolstered, attention can now be shifted elsewhere.

Forest still have plenty of deals left in them it would appear.

From left-back to centre midfield, goalkeeper to striker, the Reds are being linked with fresh faces across the park.

As is to be expected at this time of year, the names being mentioned fill a mixed bag.


(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

From the maybe possible to the highly improbable, the rumour mill is in full swing.

Some of those mentioned may well end up at the City Ground, but the vast majority won’t.

Separating the wheat from the chaff is an almost thankless task.

There are a few names that have been shouted louder than others over recent days though.

Potential signings always generate excitement and intrigue, even if there is little to get worked up about.

That could be considered the case with Forest.

Inspiration is required from somewhere, but whether those said to be in the frame can be considered inspiring is questionable.

James McClean (per Football Insider) is a proven performer at this level but not a major improvement in the creativity department.

Andy King (Sky Sports) failed to make Leicester’s Premier League squad, Funso Ojo (Grimsby Telegraph) is currently turning out in League One and Lewis Morgan (Scottish Sun) is yet to start a game at Celtic this season.

Solid, but unspectacular.

Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings (Nottingham Post) would be quite a coup if rival interest could be fended off.

It is, however, difficult to get excited about landing a versatile left-back.


This is not a slight on any of those mentioned above as they are all useful players.

They just don’t get the pulse racing.

And I don’t have a star-studded list of alternatives drawn up either.

It should, perhaps, be expected that the winter market would play out this way.

January is a notoriously difficult window to navigate and traps are easy to fall into when under the impression that you have to sign somebody – anybody!

Forest showed last summer that they can pique interest with intriguing purchases.

Lewis Grabban and Joao Carvalho arrived amid much excitement and have generally delivered on the whole – with the promise of more to come.

Expecting similar at the start of 2019 was always a big ask.

It would, however, be nice if a target were identified that delivered a raising of the eyebrows rather than a shrug of the shoulders.

And if that just happened to be a striker with a proven record, well that would be marvellous.

Nudge, nudge, Martin.

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