Nottingham Forest will need to part with over £4 million to secure the services of Oxford United winger Gavin Whyte, according to the Oxford Mail.
Boss Martin O’Neill had been reportedly preparing a £2 million bid for the Northern Ireland performer, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Forest will need to double their reported offer to land the 23-year-old. Boss Karl Robinson is keen to receive a record transfer fee for the U’s if he is forced to sell Whyte.
The player’s first season in English football saw him net nine goals and register seven assists for the League One outfit.
Robinson insists that Whyte will not be leaving on the cheap.
He told the Oxford Mail: “It’s going to cost over £4 million for Gavin Whyte. That’s what it is.
“We haven’t had another club interested, so I’m not talking about any other club. I don’t want anyone to think I’m being disrespectful, but we have a value.”
The manager famously solid Dele Alli to Tottenham and Ademola Lookman to Everton during previous spells managing MK Dons and Charlton.
Robinson does concede that he will be powerless – provided someone meets the club’s valuation.
He continued: “We appreciate we’re Oxford United and if a big club in the Championship comes in they’re a big club for a reason – because they can afford to pay.”
Seat Pitch Summary
Getting Whyte at £2 million seemed like a risk worth pursuing for Forest, but double that value may cause a problem.
There is no doubting the player’s ability but at £4 million it would put a substantial dent in Martin O’Neill’s budget for the entire summer.
At 23 there are lots of things to suggest that Whyte will improve, but having never played Championship football, the Reds might look elsewhere.
O’Neill must be savvy in the transfer market this summer and this news might just force Forest into putting the Oxford man further down their shortlist for now.