Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton says he does not know anything about a move away from the club for Nicholas Ioannou amid rumours around the defender’s future.
Ioannou only joined Forest back in September, but has struggled for game time recently, leading to speculation of a City Ground exit for the 25-year-old, with Greek side Aris linked with a move.
Greek outlet SportFM have claimed that Ioannou is looking to terminate his contract with Forest ahead of a move to Aris, while reports from the full-back’s native Cyprus say that the player could join Aris on-loan in January with an option to buy in the summer.
However, it seems as though the possibility of a move away from Forest for Ioannou is not something that Hughton is currently aware of.
Speaking about those rumours around the 25-year-old after his side’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Tuesday night, Hughton was quoted by Nottinghamshire Live as saying: “What I do understand is that there will be speculation, and particularly with players who are not playing and haven’t been in the squad.
“I can understand that one. As regards that speculation, that I don’t know. I must admit, I don’t know anything about that one.”
Can you get 16/16 on this Chris Hughton quiz?
Indeed, it seems Hughton is expecting plenty more rumours about his players in the coming weeks, as he went on to add: “There will be lots more speculation, and particularly about those players who haven’t featured so much.”
As things stand, there are around two-and-a-half years remaining on Ioannou’s contract with Forest, securing his future at The City Ground until the end of the 2022/23 season.
This is an interesting one.
It would seem strange for Forest to let Ioannou so soon after bringing him in, and at the minute it does seem as though Hughton is not expecting his side to do that.
Indeed, given some of his early performances for the club, you can understand why they would be keen to keep him around.
However, that does make it hard to explain why he is now not playing, which does make these rumours of an exit make more sense, particularly if Forest are going to be recruiting again January, which they will surely have to reduce the numbers in their squad to do so.