The latest Nottingham Forest transfer news and rumours as the January transfer window continues to build momentum
There’s no denying Nottingham Forest will go cautiously over the remainder of the transfer window.
The club will be even more cautious about their transfer business in the upcoming weeks as a result of their charge for breaking the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability guidelines.
It is decided that the Reds violated the spending caps.They have two weeks to address the allegations, and by April 8th, an independent commission hearing will be completed.
That does not exclude Nuno Espirito Santo from making additions and subtractions to his squad during the transfer window—in fact, it is highly possible that he will.
Forest have little more than two weeks of the January transfer window to go. Understandably, it has been a quiet start so far as the club had the threat of the potential charges looming over them.
This window was always likely to be a little less hectic than previous ones, though. The priority was always going to be on overseeing outgoings in order to trim Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad.
In terms of incomings, the Reds do not need to do much business. Only minor tweaks are required; just a few key additions.
Having been charged with breaching the financial rules, though, the club will no doubt be focused on spending any money wisely. They will not want to be in a similar situation again.
The Premier League rules state clubs are only allowed to make a maximum loss of £105 million across a rolling three-year period, or £35m each season. For promoted teams that is reduced, meaning Forest have been restricted to losses of £61m for the last three campaigns – £13m for the two seasons in the Championship prior to promotion, plus £35m last season.
In response to the accusation made against them, the team is anticipated to cite Brennan Johnson’s transfer.The Premier League’s accounting timetable was not met by Tottenham Hotspur when the Nigel Doughty Academy graduate was sold to them on deadline day last summer. The Reds counter that they received a higher transfer fee for Johnson by holding out until the end of the window.
The club’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis, has invested a significant amount of money and is very ambitious. Reestablishing Forest “as a dominant force in English football” is something he has expressed a desire to undertake. When it comes to future transfer spending, the Reds will undoubtedly be very careful to attempt to fulfill that while abiding by the rules.
What Nuno has said
Nuno insists the fact the club have been charged with breaching Premier League Profitability and Sustainability rules (PSR) will not change their transfer plans. But he has admitted they need to tread carefully amid the threat of potential sanctions being imposed.
Asked about the impact of the charge on this month’s business, he said: “No, it cannot, it cannot. We know what we have to do.
“It’s not easy to find the right targets. It’s always about improving, so it’s not easy.
“There are specific positions that we need. At the same time we need to rebalance the squad in terms of numbers, so ins and outs.
“We have to be careful and cautious about that because we don’t want to make any kind of decision before things are clear. For example, can we find a solution for the players that are going out – it’s a lot of work.
“There has to be a degree of caution. In the middle of the season it’s not easy to get the players you sometimes want.”
Prior to Nuno’s appointment last month, the Reds had been keen to bring in a centre-back in the mould of ball-playing Brazilian Murillo. And when talisman Taiwo Awoniyi underwent groin surgery in November, it had seemed as though January could not come soon enough to source attacking reinforcements.
A few weeks down the line, though, and Awoniyi is making good progress in his recovery. Moreover, Nuno has found a way of getting the best out of Chris Wood, while the likes of Morgan Gibbs-White and Nicolas Dominguez have been getting on the scoresheet.
There has been an argument over whether Forest should look to bring in another goalkeeper, with summer signings Matt Turner and Odysseas Vlachodimos having made some mistakes. However, a new shot-stopper is not expected to be on the club’s shopping list.
Nuno wanted to evaluate his team thoroughly before making any transfer decisions. Prior to making decisions about players’ futures and the composition of his squad, he has been eager to give them an opportunity.
In an effort to prevent a recurrence of their current predicament, the Reds would like to finish the window net-up when sales and signings are considered. The charge they are facing won’t be affected by what occurs in January, but they want to show that they are taking the PSR charge seriously, so it’s unlikely that they will spend a lot of money.
Nottingham Forest midfielder Orel Mangala has caught the attention of another club, according to a report in Germany.
Sky Sports reporter Florian Plettenberg has claimed Ligue 1 outfit Rennes have joined the battle to sign the 25-year-old who has slipped down the pecking order at the City Ground.
Having started Nuno Espirito Santo’s first match the Belgian was substituted at half time of the 3-2 loss to Bournemouth and has been infrequently used since.
Nevertheless, his popularity with other clubs seems high with Rennes claimed to have submitted an official offer to Forest, a six-month loan in the first instance but with an obligation to buy for around €25m plus add-ons.
Jorge Mendes has suggested Nottingham Forest as a potential answer to Giovanni Reyna’s lack of game-time.
That’s according to ESPN who say the United States international wants to leave Borussia Dortmund this month and is already being offered to top European clubs.
Reyna has played only 320 minutes, spread over 12 games, for the Bundesliga outfit this season – which is why he is claimed to want out at the Westfalenstadion.
The American moved to Borussia’s academy in 2019 and has gone on to make 119 appearances for the club. However, after being injured earlier this term the winger has since been a bit-part player and the return of Jadon Sancho on loan certainly won’t help his cause.
FFP charge gets strong response
It is no surprise that the latest update has prompted a response from around the football world. Here is a look at how it was reported and the response from the national media.
Jason Burt of The Telegraph criticised the Premier League ’s newly introduced system, echoing the thoughts of many fans.
“At the end of this season we could be presented with the scenario that the Premier League, the richest and most high-profile league in the world, has two clubs with asterisks and points deductions next to their names because they apparently could not get their finances in order,” he wrote.
“…The PSR certainly come from a good place. We should all applaud the desire for financial stability and clubs not living beyond their means. Who would not do that?
“But there are two thoughts at play here. The first is that the PSR rules as they stand, which are the Premier League’s version of Financial Fair Play, did not appear fit for purpose. The second is that by trying to do the right thing there is a very real danger of undermining the whole thing and killing ambition and competition. It is as if some clubs are in danger of being punished despite having the means to pay.”
Elsewhere, Charlotte Duncker of The Times was critical of Forest’s spending since promotion, claiming the owners acted like ‘children in a sweet shop’ over transfers.
She wrote: “Forest had been talking to the Premier League about the deal [Brennan Johnson’s move to Tottenham], which represented pure profit because Johnson was home-grown, all summer in an attempt to show they were trying to balance the books in the same way that Everton sold Richarlison to Spurs in 2022.
“Despite this, the ownership continued to act like children in a sweet shop. Over a hectic final 48 hours of the window, a further eight players arrived, with some of the names not discussed before deadline day. To the disbelief of many inside the club, Forest ended up with even more players to integrate.
“Neither those who arrived on the most recent deadline day, such as the £30 million midfielder Ibrahim Sangaré from PSV Eindhoven, nor the sale of Johnson are included in the accounts for 2022-23, which contributed to Forest’s breach.
“Sources say Forest believed their situation was different to Everton’s because they have co-operated with the Premier League throughout the season and been transparent about their finances. In the end, spending £250 million on 43 players was always going to be a risky business. With the Premier League setting a precedent by deducting ten points from Everton, Forest will be waiting with bated breath to find out how they will be punished.”
Reacting to the news, Sky Sports ’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol said: “These rules are designed to deal with these cases very, very quickly. They are fast-track, new, streamlined rules.
“These accounts went in on December 31, two weeks later we’re hearing Everton and Nottingham Forest are in breach of the rules. The clubs have two weeks to respond to these charges and pretty quickly two separate independent commissions are going to be set up. And within 12 weeks these independent commissions will have finished their hearings – which last between one and five days – and a week after that we will get the decision.
“By April 12 we will have the decision in these cases. Then the clubs will have seven days to decide whether they want to appeal.
“If they do want to appeal the final verdict must be in by May 24 – five days after the end of the season.”