Alan Hutton has been a transfer target for Nottingham Forest in the past.

He has even made seven appearances for the club.

They came during a loan spell at the City Ground back in 2013.

Hutton was struggling for game time at Aston Villa when allowed to link up with the Reds.

He has now severed ties with the Premier League new boys.

After seeing off Derby in the Championship play-off final, change is in the air at Villa Park.

Part of that process has seen Hutton released, among others.

With no contract of which to speak, speculation has started to build around the Scot.

Where will he end up next?

He could have returned to Trentside in the summer of 2018.


Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

If Aitor Karanka had got his way, then Hutton would have been signing on with Forest rather than committing to 12 more months at Villa.

Could that option be explored once more?

Should it be?

Reds legend Kenny Burns has said in the Nottingham Post: “He’s a good right-back, likes to get forward and attack down that side.

“I know Aitor Karanka wanted to sign him last summer and I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin took a look at him now he’s left Villa Park, though I’m sure he’d command a hefty salary given his time at Villa.

“Whether Forest would need him is another question.

“There’s already Tendayi Darikwa and we know the Reds are keen to bring Sam Byram back to the club after impressing on the occasions he played last season.

“At the age of 34, does Hutton want to come and sit on the bench each week and play second fiddle to Byram, should he return?

“I’m not so sure.”

All valid points.

Hutton’s quality is without question and there was a time when he would have been very welcome at Forest.

Now is not that time.



He will turn 35 in November, with the clock very much ticking on his playing days.

Martin O’Neill does not need short-term fixes in a position that is not that problematic.

He may be a free agent, but his salary demands would be better met elsewhere.

Bringing Byram back remains the priority.

Forest will, hopefully, be exploring that option and asking questions of West Ham.

Permanent deal, please.

If the former Leeds man cannot be acquired, then there are other avenues to head down.

A younger alternative to Hutton would be preferable.

With 50 international caps, Premier League experience and a previous spell with the Reds on his CV, supposed attraction is obvious.

Forest, though, need to blending short-term goals with long-term vision and Hutton’s face no longer fits.

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