Nottingham Forest are believed to be keeping an eye on Sam Clucas’ situation at Stoke City ahead of a potential move.
Alan Nixon claims that Forest, as well as Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers and Millwall are considering moves for the midfielder, who could be set to leave Stoke for free this summer.
Clucas was a 2018 summer signing for Stoke as they eyed an immediate return to the Premier League under Gary Rowett, arriving from Swansea City for £6million.
But the 30-year-old now has only one year left on his deal at the bet365 Stadium, and may be allowed to leave for nothing this summer as the club look to cut costs.
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It promises to be a busy summer for Forest and for Chris Hughton, as the manager looks to strengthen his squad having already bid farewell to a number of players.
Where would Clucas fit in at the City Ground if he made the move to Forest, though?
Hughton is very much likely to stick with his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation heading next season, and there is definitely scope to bring in a new midfielder.
Harry Arter and Fouad Bachirou are understood to have been told to find new clubs, and James Garner has returned to parent club Manchester United after an impressive loan spell in the second half of the season.
Forest are keen on bringing Garner back on loan this summer, but even if they managed to do so, Clucas could still be a much-needed signing.
Clucas has adapted his game to become a deep-lying playmaker, having previously played out wide for the likes of Hull City.
The 4-2-3-1 system, then, could see him sit alongside Ryan Yates in holding midfield, where he would dictate play and help build attacks from a deeper position.
The number 10 position could also a spot for Clucas to take up. Filip Krovinovic took that role for the second half of the season, and in defence, Forest often set up in a 4-3-3 formation with two number 8s which could suit Clucas’ game.
But if he were to move to the City Ground, his most likely position would be as a holding midfielder alongside Yates, taking up Garner’s role regardless of the midfielder’s potential return from Manchester United.