Championship side Nottingham Forest have submitted a bid lower than the £1.5m previously suggested to lure Tom Holmes away from Reading, according to Berkshire Live.
The outlet have confirmed an offer has been submitted by Chris Hughton’s side for the 21-year-old, as first reported by Football Insider yesterday evening.
However, the bid doesn’t quite total up to the £1.5m previously touted, which may persuade the Royals to reject Forest’s advances after already knocking back a seven-figure bid for key midfielder Josh Laurent (August 2, 13:35) from the East Midlands side this summer.
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The 21-year-old has been on the bench for the Royals in their opening two Championship games, after stepping up to the plate at crucial times last season and making an impressive 39 league appearances for the Berkshire side amid a defensive injury crisis at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
This lack of game time may persuade the Championship side’s academy graduate to make the move to the City Ground this summer, although it’s currently unclear whether he would be able to get past the likes of Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna in Chris Hughton’s team.
Holmes is also a known boyhood Reading fan – and the club have already opened contract negotiations regarding a new three-year deal after he became an important asset for the Royals during the 2020/21 campaign.
At this stage, Reading manager Veljko Paunovic will be reluctant to let go of one of his first-teamers despite the likes of Liam Moore, Michael Morrison and Tom McIntyre all available as options in the heart of defence.
The Serbian may also want to adopt a back three throughout this season, making Holmes’ presence even more crucial.
After graduating from the club’s academy, it would be hard to see the 21-year-old leaving the Select Car Leasing Stadium after making his breakthrough last term and when an acceptable offer is put on the table, many Reading fans will be expecting him to put pen to paper.
But with less than a year left on his contract, Forest have every right to put in a much lower offer for his services as they look to increase strength in depth in their defensive area.
At 21, Holmes would be a long-term signing at the City Ground and after conceding just 45 goals in 46 Championship games last season, an impressive total for a side that finished in 17th, they will want to retain a solid backline as one of their key strengths whilst allowing the likes of Brennan Johnson and Lyle Taylor to sparkle up front.
This can only help in their quest to lift themselves up the table after a poor start to the 2021/22 campaign.