Nottingham Forest are looking to bolster their squad this summer and ex-Bristol Rovers defender Tom Lockyer has emerged as an early transfer target, according to Bristol Live.
Martin O’Neill has previously mentioned that he’d like to pursue younger players during the transfer window. Lockyer certainly fits that billing at 24-years-old and he would certainly improve the defensive ranks.
The Wales international played well over 200 games for Rovers and was the club’s captain during last season. His arrival at the City Ground would be welcome, given the number of injuries suffered at centre-back last season.
Whether or not he signs remains to be seen of course. Should he put pen-to-paper, however, you would fancy one or two central defenders to head towards pastures new.
Michael Hefele could be one man who faces an uncertain future should Lockyer sign for Forest.
The German defender was a £300k recruit from Huddersfield Town on deadline day last August (BBC Sport) and made 18 appearances for the Reds.
With injuries already mounting the 28-year-old ruptured his Achilles during a New Year’s Day game with Leeds and hasn’t played since.
It became clear pretty early on in Hefele’s career at Forest why Huddersfield had opted to let him leave. After a serious injury with the Terriers, there was an element of ring-rust as far as his performance levels were concerned.
When all of Aitor Karanka’s defensive options were fit, Hefele was often left on the bench, or even out of the squad.
O’Neill could opt for three at the back next season and that might earn Hefele a reprieve as a backup. It would perhaps represent a surprise, however, if the defender is still on Trentside at the start of next season.
If Lockyer signs it could be as a replacement for the Dynamo Dresden defender and his Forest career might prove short-lived.