James Garner fancied re-joining Nottingham Forest – and some of the players at the City Ground thought he would be making a big return.

Forest completely re-tooled their midfield this summer.

Four signings arrived to bolster Steve Cooper’s engine room.

Lewis O’Brien, Cheikhou Kouyate, Orel Mangala and Remo Freuler have arrived, joining Ryan Yates in a now-congested midfield crop.

This was partly prompted by James Garner’s exit, but a return from Manchester United seemingly wasn’t out of the question.

James Garner fancied re-joining Nottingham Forest

Garner joined Forest on loan from United in January 2021, initially signing until the end of the season before the deal was extended for the whole 2021-22 campaign.

The 21-year-old racked up 69 appearances for Forest during his 18-month stay at the club, helping Forest win promotion to the Premier League.

Garner certainly impressed in red and white, so when it became clear that United would let him go, some wondered whether he could return.

In the end, that didn’t happen as Garner completed a deadline day move to Everton for £9million rising to £15.5million.

Nottingham Forest v Reading - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Birkenhead boy is heading back home, but it seems that Garner did have an interest in re-joining Forest.

The Athletic report that Garner was keen on signing for Forest once again – and some players at the City Ground really thought that a return was on the cards.

Those players are described as being ‘almost certain’ that a deal for Garner would materialise.

However, Erik ten Hag delayed a decision on Garner’s future and Forest wanted bodies in quickly, so moved for other midfielders.

By the time Garner became available, Forest had moved on and Everton were able to swoop in.

The timing just wasn’t right for Forest or Garner to make a return happen, but who knows what the future holds?

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