The prayers of Nottingham Forest supporters may have been answered when it comes to the future of Joe Lolley.
‘May’ being the operative word.
If the latest reports are to be believed, then the exit door at the City Ground has been slammed shut.
Aston Villa had been sniffing around that hole in the wall for longer than many would have liked.
Talk of a return to his roots for the 26-year-old was becoming a disturbing distraction.
The Daily Mail had claimed that a £10 million bid was in the offing.
Such speculation was laughed out of town by many a Reds supporter.
This was, though, a loyal fan base putting on a brave face.
Deep down, an uneasy sense of history repeating itself was proving difficult to shake.
You do not have to turn the clock back far to find examples of Forest parting with prized assets when big money is put on the table.
That was, however, a different time, in a different era.
Evangelos Marinakis is not the second coming of Fawaz Al Hasawi.
The Greek shipping magnate has deep pockets and the stomach for a fight.
Villa, apparently, are ready to walk away from any transfer tussle.
The Express and Star claims that the Premier League new boys are now looking elsewhere for reinforcements on the wings.
Attention is said to have switched from Forest to Brentford.
They claim: “Villa remain hopeful of striking a deal for Said Benrahma despite Brentford slapping a £20 million price tag on the winger.
“Joe Lolley is still being considered as an alternative, though that may also prove a difficult deal to complete with Nottingham Forest reluctant to part with their best player.”
Reluctant is a polite way of describing the Reds’ stance.
Not a hope in hell would be another way of putting it.
Forest want to be where Villa are, and they want to be there next summer.
With Lolley leading the way.
A man tied to a long-term contract has offered no indication – in public at least – that he is looking for a way out.
Marinakis, Martin O’Neill and Co. can therefore give short shrift to any unwelcome advances.
Forest have no need to sell.
Villa have other options to explore.