Southampton have been knocked back by Everton in the quest to sign Nottingham Forest-linked defender Michael Keane. According to Sky Sports, the Saints had made a bid to take the 29-year-old on loan.

Everton are embroiled in a relegation battle, along with Southampton and Forest. The Toffees were thrashed 4-1 by Brighton last time out in the Premier League and are lacking in confidence.

Southampton knocked back Keane
(Photo; Luke Walker; Getty Images)

Despite the team’s struggles, Keane is miles down the pecking order. Frank Lampard just doesn’t seem to fancy him and he’s made just three appearances in all competitions this season.

Now, Keane is available for transfer. It would appear, however, that Everton aren’t prepared to borrow the player to a relegation rival and instead are keen to get him off the wage bill.

That does make sense. The ex-Manchester United trainee earns around £69,000-a-week at Goodison Park and with money in short supply, they need to raise funds for their own recruitment.

Everton are willing to listen to offers for both Keane and Mason Holgate this month. Interestingly, Forest have been linked with a move for both of those defenders as they seek to bolster their rearguard.

Southampton knocked back by Everton in Keane chase

Forest perhaps aren’t chasing the Everton man quite as ferociously as Southampton. The Saints are rock bottom of the Premier League and they desperately need to keep some clean sheets.

The Reds beat them 1-0 in their own backyard last week. It was the first time Forest have won away all season in the Premier League and Nathan Jones needs new players.

Southampton knocked back Keane
(Photo; Luke Walker; Getty Images)

Keane is a vastly experienced performer. He has made 189 appearances for the top-flight club and has also collected 12 caps for England throughout his career.

Forest perhaps do have Keane on their shortlist of targets. Right now, however, it would seem that he’s not particularly close to the top of that list given that no bid has been made.

With Everton unwilling to budge on their desire to sell, perhaps Forest will move on completely this month.

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