Premier League outfit Nottingham Forest want to secure a fresh agreement for Manchester United midfielder James Garner either on a loan or permanent deal, according to a report from The Sun.
The 21-year-old was an instrumental figure for the Reds despite not being able to get off to the most successful start to the 2021/22 campaign, recording four goals and 10 assists in 49 competitive appearances.
Arguably, his most important contribution came in the play-off final last month when his cross deflected off Huddersfield Town’s Levi Colwill and into the back of the net – the only goal of the game as the East Midlands outfit secured their return to the top flight.
Quiz: 23 things literally every Nottingham Forest fan should know – But do you?
However, he was a consistent figure for Steve Cooper’s side throughout the majority of the 2021/22 campaign, not just performing well in the second tier but also in the FA Cup against the likes of Arsenal and Leicester City.
With this, he has attracted interest from top-tier sides including the Foxes, Everton, Leeds United and Southampton, though Forest may have put themselves in pole position after winning promotion in the latter stages of last month.
According to 90min, the Reds will be given the option to recruit the 21-year-old on loan again before others if he’s made available by United again.
And in this latest revelation by The Sun, Forest are open to recruiting Garner on a permanent basis, though it’s currently unclear how much Erik ten Hag’s side will demand for his services. The top-tier side also want to take a look at him during pre-season, meaning this potential move is unlikely to be imminent.
It will be interesting to see what his price tag is because he could potentially become a key first-teamer at Old Trafford in the coming years – and the top-tier giants won’t want to lose him for cheap.
In fact, Forest may end up suffering the consequences of Paul Pogba’s departure because United will want to compensate for losing the Frenchman on a free and they could demand a considerable amount of money for Garner.
He isn’t a key first-teamer at this stage though and that will give them a glimmer of hope of sealing a permanent deal – because the money generated from his potential sale could give ten Hag more funds to spend in the transfer market in the coming months.
During his first window in charge, the Dutchman will be keen to make quite a few changes but can only do so if he has a sufficient budget at his disposal, so cashing in on the 21-year-old may make sense.
A loan move seems the most likely at this stage though considering how highly he’s rated at Old Trafford – and that could be a cheaper option for Forest who will then have money left in their budget to pursue a few other targets.