Nottingham Forest are expected to sign another forward in the January transfer window as they look to make a long-awaited return to the Premier League.
The Reds sit firmly inside the Sky Bet Championship play-off places after an impressive first-half of the campaign, however another striker is still likely to be on the radar next month.
Over the course of the summer, Forest bid farewell to the likes of Hillal Soudani, Daryl Murphy, Jason Cummings and Apostolos Vellios, but Sabri Lamouchi was left frustrated after failing to replace them.
This has left them extremely short of options in attack, with Rafa Mir and Lewis Grabban the club’s only out-and-out striking options at present.
One player who has been linked with a move to the City Ground is Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle, who has fallen out of favour at St. James’ Park under Steve Bruce, making just three top-flight appearances this term.
According to reports from the Telegraph, Forest would have to cough up £15m if they wished to sign the proven forward, who scored 24 goals in 41 games on loan with West Brom last term.
This would, of course, be a new club-record signing for Forest, only one year after they smashed their previous record on signing Joao Carvalho from Benfica for £13.2m.
This signing would be a massive statement of intent from Forest – it’s rare for a club to spend that much money in January, especially after signing a player for a similar amount of money only one year before.
Gayle is exactly what Forest need – he scored 23 goals for Newcastle to help the Magpies win promotion in 2017, and he netted 24 times as Albion were defeated in the play-off semi-finals last term.
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But Forest have got to appreciate how Lewis Grabban would feel about this, and what sort of impact the signing of Gayle would have on their current leading goalscorer.
Grabban has been in fine form for Forest this season – the 31-year-old has scored eight goals in all competitions thus far, and is on course to surpass the 17 goals he scored last term.
He is a player who clearly thrives in Lamouchi’s system and style of play, and operates really well in the lone forward role in their 4-2-3-1 formation.
Lamouchi’s preferred system only allows him to pick one striker, though, therefore signing Gayle could see Grabban lose his place in the team.
It’s unlikely that they would pay £15m on a player, only for him to sit on the bench every week, and it’s also unlikely that Lamouchi would change his formation halfway through the season.
Grabban will be hoping to keep his head down, work hard and continue to score goals, although this transfer speculation is likely to be driving him mad inside.