West Ham have joined Nottingham Forest and Celtic in the race to sign Derby County youngster Lee Buchanan, according to Derbyshire Live.
The Reds have been interested in the left-back since the summer. CEO Dane Murphy rates the Rams talent and is keen to bring him to the City Ground.
Forest have a bit of a quandary at left-back. Max Lowe has been brilliant since arriving on loan from Sheffield United but he’s currently injured.
Jack Colback has deputised in recent weeks but the Reds have missed his tenacity in midfield. As a result, a new left-back could be in Steve Cooper’s sights.
Buchanan is at a nice age to continue developing. With Derby in financial disarray, they could be forced into accepting bids for some players this month.
Forest have signed Richie Laryea this month. He is naturally a right-back, however, and playing him at left-back would be another makeshift option.
It’s uncertain how far away Lowe is from full fitness. If he’s going to be out long-term then Cooper may well dip into the market for a left-back this month.
Buchanan would be a decent addition. The 20-year-old has made 60 appearances for the Rams but hasn’t played since injuring his knee in November.
Talent: Buchanan fits Murphy criteria at Forest
It’s no secret that Dane Murphy likes to sign players with more emphasis placed on the future. Resale value is the order of the day and players signed ahead of their best years.
Some will feel that Forest can do better than Buchanan. Whilst he’s a talented youngster, he’s far from the finished article.
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Some would prefer the club to go out and sign a player who would be more capable of making an immediate impact on the first team.
That could cost Forest more though. Derby’s situation means that they’ll likely accept a lesser valuation and that could see the Reds set up for the future.
West Ham’s interest could change things and it’ll be interesting to see if the youngster moves before the window closes.