The Reds are still hopeful that they can land Colback who has enjoyed a successful 18-month spell at the City Ground on loan from Newcastle United.
However, the finances involved with any potential deal for the 29-year-old has forced the club to consider alternatives.
24-year-old Reed is a similar player to Colback, albeit less experienced. The Southampton midfielder spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
He made 36 appearances under the management of Tony Mowbray, picking up three goals in the process. He certainly made an impression during his time at Ewood Park.
As a result, the Reds won’t be the only side interested in securing his services. The midfielder is deemed surplus to requirements by Ralph Hasenhüttl. The Saints would be willing to let the midfielder leave either on loan or permanently this summer.
Premier League duo Burnley and Norwich City have also expressed an interested in the midfielder. Reed made 39 appearances for the Canaries on loan in the 2017/18 campaign which might be a factor.
‘I really hope not’
The reports about a potential move for Reed have been met by a mixed response on social media. Colback became a very popular figure at the City Ground and it will be difficult for many fans to comprehend the fact that he may not return. A number of Reds supporters have been voicing their thoughts on social media over the last few days.
Heard #NFFC are after Harrison Reed if they can’t get Colback…
Looks as if they will turn to any holding midfielder that is ginger other than the man from Newcastle at this point 🥴
Just sign him Jack back Martin!
— Elliott Jacob Stockdale (@EJStockdale) June 13, 2019
Harrison Reed,Could Be A Decent Signing #NFFC
— NFFC4EVER (@cookenffc) June 13, 2019
Would love to see a handful moved on before we sign some players to be honest but happy with the Muric and Reed links #nffc
— TalkForest (@TalkForest1) June 13, 2019
May go against the masses but I’d rather sign younger players. Cans see us giving Colback a 4 year contract then not wanting him on the books in a year or two
— Matt Hammond (@forestmatth79) June 13, 2019
I really hope not, never been impressed with reed at all
— Johnny Smith (@johnnysmith2611) June 13, 2019
I’d imagine that Colback’s potential wages would be an issue for any deal
— Martin Palmer (@earniesbackflip) June 13, 2019
Surely we need to look at getting rid of players first before we can even consider bringing people in.
— Taras Sklierenko (@tsklierenko) June 13, 2019
If Colback wasn’t to join the Reds, there’s no doubt that Reed would be a sensible addition. However, if there is still a possibility of bringing Colback back, then that would have to remain the priority. Of course, there is the option to try and sign them both, but Martin O’Neill will want to see some players leave before pursuing that.