Joao Carvalho is going nowhere, so says Nottingham Forest boss Martin O’Neill.
Transfer talk has been sparked around the Portuguese playmaker of late.
A lack of regular opportunities in 2019 has led to inevitable rumours regarding his future.
Just one start has been taken in by the 22-year-old since the Reds made another managerial change.
Carvalho figured prominently under Aitor Karanka, but has been a fringe player under the Spaniard’s successor.
O’Neill’s decision to overlook Forest’s most creative influence has not sat well with many.
Amid struggles for a spark, questions have been asked of the decision to bench a mercurial No. 10.
The man at the helm has sought to bat away that probing whenever pressed on it.
To O’Neill, Carvalho is clearly talented but lacking the qualities he requires in the present.
But in the future, that situation may change.
There is, of course, a lot of water to pass under Trent Bridge before we discover the fate of two men causing quite a stir at the City Ground.
Will Carvalho look to jump ship?
Will he be pushed overboard?
For now, the latter is offering his support to the former and suggesting that they will be back in tandem for 2019-20.
O’Neill has said in the Nottingham Post when quizzed on the latest round of transfer talk: “I’ve definitely had no conversations with anyone concerning him at this minute.
“These are all things for the next few weeks. But he’s definitely a talented player.”
No talks yet.
Does that mean some are planned?
O’Neill sought to further clarify Carvalho’s situation when saying: “He’s had little cameo roles at this minute.
“I expect him to be stronger for it next season in every aspect, and to be able to cope with the physicality during a 46-game campaign.”
Carvalho will be restricted to a spectator role once again when Forest face Sheffield United on Friday, but his manager is eager to point out that no doors have been closed.
O’Neill added: “He got concussion in the game against Blackburn and there’s a medical protocol we have to go through. But I think he’ll be alright for Monday [against Middlesbrough].
“I’m hoping that whatever flashes he has shown here during the course of the season, that will become a regular and certainly a stronger element to his game for next year.”
Aren’t we all!
As with most things in the Forest world, though, there are no certainties to be found.
Carvalho’s future will remain a subject of conjecture for as long as he remains outside of the starting XI.
Especially with another window fast approaching.
And there is no telling whether O’Neill will be the man making calls on his involvement past the end of the current campaign.
The expectation should be that both will be back for more, but seeing neither in 2019-20 would come as little surprise either!