Brighton are the latest club to emerge as potential suitors in the race to sign Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall. They joined West Ham and Everton in scouting the Reds enforcer during Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Liverpool.
Worrall has served Forest with distinction. Since returning from a loan spell with Rangers during 2018/19 he has really started to kick on and is currently the Reds’ captain.
The 25-year-old is bang in form. He fractured two ribs earlier in the campaign but remarkably missed just three games against Cardiff, Derby and Barnsley.
Now, Forest face a real fight to keep hold of their academy graduate. The Premier League is beckoning, West Ham, Everton and Brighton all providing attractive options.
Worrall is at the point of his career where he’ll fancy Premier League action. Although he’d welcome that at Forest, there is a chance that the Reds might not secure it this season.
The centre-back has played 170 times for Forest. He also made 32 appearances during his time at Rangers and picked up the experience of playing in the Europa League.
Worrall is likely to fetch a fee in the region of £12m-£15m. Matty Cash went for £16 million last summer and Forest will hope for a similar figure.
Forest must ensure Worrall transition is smooth
The Reds will remain a selling club whilst they’re not a Premier League club. With that in mind, Worrall could be the next homegrown player to leave the City Ground.
A real challenge for the club will be who replaces him. They will need to target a stellar replacement and Steve Cooper will need a foray into the transfer market.
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With the head coach and Dane Murphy sorting transfers, there is hope that the transition can be seamless in the summer.
Forest will certainly hope that’s the case. With the loanees set to leave and other departures likely, the club will need to move quickly to replace Worrall.