Gary Gardner has said that he is open to returning to Nothingham Forest if he can’t make an impact on Tim Sherwood at parent club Aston Villa, the Daily Mail have reported.
Gardner has been impressive since moving to the City Ground on loan in January on a deal that runs until the end of the season, and has gone to score four goals in 17 appearances for Dougie Freedman’s side.
The 22-year-old midfielder joined Villa when he was seven and was given a new contract last year that lasts until June 2016, but has only made five career starts for his boyhood club.
Villa boss Sherwood saw Gardner score a marvelous free-kick against Watford last week in their 3-1 defeat at the City Ground.
But while Gardner has admitted that while he hopes to establish himself at Villa Park under Sherwood, Forest now holds a special place in his heart.
“I will go back to Villa in the summer and we will see what happens,” he told the Daily Mail.
“When I am back there in training, it will be my chance to impress. Tim Sherwood will not have seen much of me in training, because I have not been there.
“Villa are the main club, I have been there since I was seven and it is the team I support. But Forest have been fantastic to me. It is definitely the second team in my heart.
“If I was made available for loan again next season, if it does not work out at Villa, Forest would be top of my list, definitely. It is the best loan move I have had.”
Gardner will play his last two games at Forest this season against Ipswich Town at Portman Road and Cardiff on the last day at home.