Nottingham Forest are still pushing hard to recruit full-back Lee Buchanan from arch-rivals Derby County, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon who provided the latest update on this saga this afternoon.
The 20-year-old was the subject of intense interest from Forest during the summer, with the East Midlands side launching three separate offers in desperate attempts to lure the young left-sided player to the City Ground.
Unfortunately for the Reds, all three bids were rejected by officials at Pride Park with Derby needing to retain their key players after being placed under a strict transfer embargo during the summer, limiting the incoming business they could conduct.
Quiz: Can you name which club Nottingham Forest signed these 20 strikers from?
Their current financial situation, with the Rams still in administration at this point and a preferred bidder for the club yet to be named, means they are unlikely to make any signings during this month unless they can get a takeover over the line in a swift manner.
With this and Derby manager Wayne Rooney saying the relegation battlers are under no pressure to offload players, a move for the left-back may seem unlikely at this stage, though it remains to be seen how their financial state of play will change in the coming days and weeks with the takeover situation remaining uncertain.
Forest are currently light in orthodox options on the left side with loanee Max Lowe still recovering from his injury and Jordi Osei-Tutu being ruled out for the foreseeable future with yet another injury, leaving Jack Colback and an unfancied Gaetan Bong as the two men competing for a starting spot there.
Responding to a question about whether Steve Cooper’s men are lining up another bid for Derby star this month, The Sun journalist Nixon tweeted: “Forest giving it a go”.
Forest giving it a go https://t.co/dOyOdw30n6
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) January 4, 2022
However, a fresh formal bid is not yet reported to have been made.
This signing would fit into CEO Dane Murphy’s strategy of reducing the squad’s average age, so it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see the left-back make the short move to Forest in the summer, even if he is leaving for an arch-rival.
However, whether this deal can be struck may depend on both sides’ league status and if Buchanan is willing to sign fresh terms at Pride Park. If both are in the second tier next season, the 20-year-old may decide to stay put.
But the opportunity to be a regular in the Championship for the Reds if Derby go down may prove to be too tempting, because Cooper seems to be overseeing an exciting project with a side that will be hoping to revive their promotion push after recent losses.
The team spirit Derby have is admirable though, so the full-back may want to remain at Pride Park for the time being, because he won’t want to be seen as a player that’s jumped ship during what is currently an incredibly difficult period in his side’s history.
His potential desire to remain on this journey and Derby’s inability to bring in a potential replacement may make this deal an impossibility at this stage.