Nottingham Forest will be given the first option to sign James Garner if Manchester United sanction another loan deal this summer, according to a report from 90min.
The 21-year-old’s second loan spell at the City Ground last season proved to be even more successful than his first, appearing as one of the first names on the teamsheet under Steve Cooper and making 49 appearances in all competitions during the 2021/22 campaign.
Registering four goals and 10 assists during last term, he played an integral part in the Reds’ promotion and even supplied the cross for Levi Colwill’s crucial own goal in last weekend’s play-off final against Huddersfield Town.
With this, the East Midlands outfit are hopeful of a return for the midfielder who may not be part of Erik Ten Hag’s plans next season considering his lack of experience in the top flight, although the Dutchman is set to take a closer look at the youngster ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
If he is made available for a loan deal, Forest could face considerable competition for his signature with Leeds United, Southampton and Leicester City all being linked with a move for him following his impressive performances.
But 90min has revealed he will be offered to the East Midlands outfit before other sides if he isn’t part of United’s short-term plans, enabling Cooper’s side to steal a march on their competitors in this transfer race.
This is great news for Forest – but they may focus on other targets at this stage considering Ten Hag wants to take a look at him in pre-season and they won’t want to be waiting on his decision later on in the transfer window with other targets likely to be available.
One thing that’s certain is the fact they will need a replacement for him despite the emergence of Ryan Yates – because his contribution to the cause was more than just set-pieces and dangerous deliveries.
Also helping to keep the midfield ticking over, he leaves a big void in the Reds’ midfield and it’s a gap they should be looking to fill during pre-season to ensure their new man can come in and hit the ground running.
This will mitigate the effects of the 21-year-old departing the City Ground, though they face a big challenge in getting a replacement in considering the season starts earlier than usual next term.
At the same time, they should look to keep a space free for the United man to fill in their first-team squad because he’s undoubtedly ready for the step up to the top tier and would probably be a cheap addition.
With United potentially prepared to not charge a loan fee and pay a portion of his wages on the condition he gets plenty of game time under his belt, that could enable the promoted side to spend more on other targets.