Nottingham Forest are reportedly interested in swapping Ben Osborn for Stoke City winger James McClean, according to the Daily Mirror.

McClean was a regular in the Republic of Ireland side when Forest boss Martin O’Neill was in charge.

However, it is somewhat surprising that he would be willing to let Osborn move the other way. Osborn is currently one of the longest-serving players at the City Ground having made his debut in the 2013/14 campaign.

In this case, the Reds have been reportedly interested in McClean for a while. The Nottingham Post reported that the winger “would jump at the chance to work with O’Neill again.”

If Osborn does move the other way, it would mean that the Reds would avoid paying a hefty fee for his signature. At the same time, O’Neill would lose a valued member of his first team squad in Osborn.

It remains to be seen how this deal develops, but it is certainly one to keep an eye on.

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Is McClean a good enough upgrade?

It’s difficult to directly compare the two players. This is mainly due to the fact Osborn has never pinned down a single position as his own. However, this isn’t a criticism. He has been trusted by previous managers to play in numerous positions, outlining his versatility.

In more recent times, O’Neill has utilised Osborn as a left-back. This has been because Jack Robinson has had to fill the gap in central defence due to the current injury crisis. There’s no doubt that this isn’t Osborn’s best position, but he has always done a job.

A number of players would moan about being played out of position, but Osborn hasn’t done this once since breaking into the team. He has remained professional throughout and got on with whatever his manager has asked of him.

Is it worth offloading this sort of player in exchange for McClean? It’s up for debate.

McClean is arguably better than O’Neill’s current wide options. However, he certainly isn’t the most popular of players. If he isn’t going to be accepted by a number of supporters – is it really worth the hassle?

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He has proven that he has the ability to deliver at this level, but at 29-years-old, his best years are probably behind him. If he could come in and help push the Reds towards the play-off places, then it would undoubtedly be a deal worth pursuing.

However, that is a very big if.

Following the Daily Mirror’s report, Seat Pitch rounded up exactly what Forest supporters had to say about the potential swap deal.

‘The worst deal ever’

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