Manchester United are reportedly working on the signing of Leeds star Kalvin Phillips and if it comes off, Nottingham Forest must ask the question regarding James Garner.

Erik ten Hag looks set to be named the new Red Devils boss. He is likely to prioritise younger talent and Phillips suits his ethos perfectly.

That doesn’t look like great news for Garner though. The man starring at Forest plays in the same position as the England star and that doesn’t do his chances of game time any good.

Nottingham Forest v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Next season will be another big one for Garner. After a short spell at Watford and then 18 months at Forest, he won’t want to go back to sitting on the bench.

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Garner scored his fourth goal of the 2021/22 with a sweet left-footed effort against Coventry last night. He also netted four goals from 20 appearances during the second half of last season.

The midfielder has grown under the stewardship of Steve Cooper. As a former England youth coach, Premier League clubs will know that their players are in safe hands at Forest.

Although United do need another midfielder, it would appear they’re likely to open the chequebook. That could place Garner back to square one and it certainly wouldn’t be ideal.

Small glimmer of hope for Forest in Garner quest

Make no bones about it, Phillips won’t come cheap to Manchester United. Given the fierce rivalry between the two clubs, there is likely to be a premium on top of his actual valuation placed on him by the Whites.

As a result, he will be signed to be an integral part of Ten Hag’s team. That would leave Garner on the fringes and his development could stall somewhat.

Nottingham Forest v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)
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United know that Forest would look after the 21-year-old. Of course, at this stage, the Reds might well be a Premier League club by the time the next season kicks off.

If he does go out on loan again, it’s likely to be a top-flight outfit. Ultimately, United know they can trust Forest, however, and if Phillips moves to Old Trafford, the Reds must ask the question about Garner.

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