Joe Worrall isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but both he and Nottingham Forest are aware that “big-hitters” are starting to circle.
So impressive has the 23-year-old been this season that a meteoric rise to prominence has been enjoyed.
This time 12 months ago, questions were also being asked of his future.
Back then, the issue was whether he had a future at the City Ground at all.
Upon returning from a loan stint at Rangers, further exit talk was sparked.
At that time, Hull City and Wigan were said to be leading the hunt for a hard-working centre-half.
Fast forward to January 2020 and the calibre of Worrall’s suitors has been stepped up a few notches.
To the point that there is renewed talk of Arsenal monitoring his progress.
Any defensive unit which includes Sokratis and David Luiz probably should be assessing other options.
It would, however, come as a serious surprise to see a formal approach made from the Emirates.
That is no slight on Worrall, who has become a talismanic presence for Forest, but we are talking about a sizeable jump up the ladder here.
In an ideal world, a Nottingham native will continue to move one step at a time.
Becoming an established part of the Reds fold this season represents a first tick in the box.
He now has to remain consistent, while taking his game to even greater heights.
Should he succeed in that quest, then a Premier League stage could be occupied with Forest.
Worrall remains committed to that cause.
He is, however, feeling flattered by the admiring glances from afar.
“Of course you are aware of interest. I’ve got a mobile phone, I see Twitter, Instagram and stuff,” Worrall has said in the Nottingham Post.
“It’s brilliant, something you want as a player. You would rather people be talking about you than not. But, at the end of the day, it’s not all about Joe Worrall, it’s about the team.
“I want to see Forest play in the Premier League and I want to be a part of that, the team that does that.
“But you’ve got to think about your career and stuff so it obviously depends on what team, there are a lot of things that come into play with moving location and stuff like that.”
Pressed further on the supposed top flight interest, Worrall added: “You want to play in the Premier League.
“If you have got teams, the big-hitters, coming for you then it’s hard to say no. But you’ve got to be realistic as well and think ‘am I going to play?’.
“There are a lot of factors without talking money and location. But I’m someone who is very level-headed and I just think about winning, so that’s all I want to do with Forest at the moment.”
If Forest are to keep the “big-hitters” at bay then is abundantly clear what they need to do.
Worrall has already opened himself up to a new contract and at least another season on Trentside.
By the summer of 2021 you would hope that the Reds are already established back in the Premier League or preparing for a return to it.
If that is the case, then Worrall will have no need to leave.
He is, however, a player of no little talent and ambition and it would be wrong to expect him to hang around based purely on emotional ties.
His loyalty is not in doubt at present, but neither should it be questioned if Forest as a collective fail to deliver on their half of the bargain.