Nottingham Forest have possibly been handed a significant boost in their quest to sign Oxford United defender Josh Ruffels.
BBC Oxford Sport are claiming that Karl Robinson has placed two left-backs on his radar.
The U’s have offered the long-serving defender a new contract, although his hesitance to sign it has led the club to act.
Brighton defender Alex Cochrane and Eastleigh star Joe Tomlinson are the two potential targets identified.
The Athletic reported last month that Forest were interested in the 27-year-old. Since then he hasn’t penned a new deal and could leave.
Ruffels signed for Oxford from Coventry in 2013. He has made 316 appearances for the club and helped them to the play-offs during 2020/21.
The latest news suggests, however, that Robinson isn’t overly keen on tempting his player into staying at the club.
It could be that he’s been alerted to the Championship interest and is keen to depart.
Forest will be on the lookout for a new left-back. Yuri Ribeiro has left and Gaetan Bong has been deemed surplus to requirements.
The Reds do have Tyler Blackett but the jury is out over whether he can stay fit for the entire 46-gam campaign.
As a result, Chris Hughton will have to act and bolster his full-back department.
Ruffels could be perfect for Forest
The defender has learned his trade in League One and deserves a crack at the Championship.
Last season he registered assists to go alongside the six goals he bagged in Robinson’s team.
Ruffels isn’t without fault and there are some areas of his game that need improving.
At 27 he is at a nice age though and he wouldn’t cost Forest the earth either.
If Forest do have a bit of money to spend they have other areas which are in greater need of reinforcing.
As a result, landing Ruffels on a free could prove to be very clever business indeed.