Joe Worrall has seen his Nottingham Forest future called into question once more, but vowed to “still be here next year”.
Said statement has been made amid renewed speculation of reported interest from the Premier League.
And with Worrall yet to be offered an extension to his current contract.
The 23-year-old is still tied to terms at the City Ground through to 2022.
With that in mind, there is no rush to enter into negotiations.
Worrall has, however, seen the likes of Matty Cash, Brennan Johnson and Alex Mighten commit to fresh terms this season.
The waiting game continues!
“It’s something that’s been spoken about the last couple of weeks,” Worrall said in the Nottingham Post.
“A lot of the ‘one of our own’ lads have signed new contracts, so I’m a bit miffed I’ve not been offered one yet!
“It’s just one of those things that gets spoken about – if you play 20 games in a row and perform well, then, if I was a manager or a CEO, of course you want to tie your best players down.
“It’s just something that all players will get throughout their career. It’s how you handle it, and not let it affect you.”
The “miffed” line was uttered with a smile on his face.
Worrall is, as a Nottingham native, as happy as he could wish to be at Forest right now.
The expectation is that contract talks are a case of when, not if.
A home-grown star is ready to sign whenever paperwork is tabled.
Quizzed on whether he would like to ink a new deal, Worrall added in the Post: “Have you got a pen?!
“Of course. I want to stay here for as long as I can and get as much out of my Forest career as I possibly can.
“There’s only one thing on my mind, and that’s getting into the Premier League.
“If we do that, fantastic. If we don’t, I’ll still be here next year hopefully trying to do it again.”
That is the most telling line here.
Despite talk of admiring glances being shot in his direction, Worrall remains fully committed to the cause.
Such comments are, admittedly, commonplace in modern football.
Kiss the badge, swear undying allegiance to any given cause and then beat a hasty retreat once a bigger wedge of cash is thrust under your nose.
With Worrall, you get the feeling that he means every word he says.
He is very much one to call a spade a spade, is open and honest whenever facing the press and has no need to earn further favour with bold declarations.
As part of the ‘one of our own’ clan, support from the stands is a given.
All of those off the pitch want him to stay put, as do those alongside him on it.
If Forest are to get back to the big time, then Worrall will likely be leading from the front – potentially as captain in the not too distant future.
His vow to still be on the Reds’ books next season, regardless of division or how long is left to run on his contract, should be taken as the clearest indication yet that he is going nowhere anytime soon.