Nottingham Forest are hopeful of signing Manchester United gem James Garner, according to The Athletic. Erik ten Hag has decided to let him depart permanently this summer, with Everton, Tottenham and Southampton all keen.
The Reds have had Garner on loan for the last 18 months. He helped the club avoid relegation during the second half of 2020/21, before playing his part in the promotion-winning campaign of 2021/22.
Garner had hoped to impress United’s new manager. An injury picked up on a pre-season tour to Australia didn’t help his case; with other players being preferred in defeats against Brighton and Brentford to start the season.
Now, the 21-year-old is up for sale. He will be valued at around £14 million and it’s claimed that Forest are hopeful of convincing him that his future lies at the City Ground.
Garner struck up a real rapport with the Forest faithful. He registered 10 assists last season; with seven of those coming directly from set-piece situations. The United man also helped himself to four goals across the campaign.
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Forest aren’t short of midfielders. Orel Mangala and Lewis O’Brien were brilliant in Saturday’s win over West Ham. Remo Freuler has now joined too, with the versatile Cheikhou Kouyate also capable of playing in that position.
Jack Colback and Cafu are also still at the club. They’re not considered long-term options though and Garner would be a sound investment for the future if Forest can get him back.
Back in March, Garner earned praise from former United favourite Roy Keane. He called him ‘technically brilliant’ after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup.
Forest hopeful of signing Garner
The Reds will face some stern competition to sign the player. Tottenham have watched him but a move there does seem unlikely right now. Everton and Southampton also offer attractive options.
Something hits differently with Garner at Forest though. He’s previously been open about how much he enjoyed his time on Trentside and surely he’d welcome the chance to come back.
Forest have signed a lot of midfielders this summer. Still, there is no reason why the Reds shouldn’t still be planning for the future and that leads the club back to Garner.
At £14 million he’d represent an absolute steal. As a result, Forest have to act and they can’t let another Premier League club get their hands on a player who has served the club so well.