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Nottingham Forest enter transfer chase for EFL player amid Newcastle United, Watford, QPR links



Championship side Nottingham Forest have joined the race for AFC Bournemouth centre-back Steve Cook ahead of the January transfer window, as per Football Insider.

The 30-year-0ld has found game time hard to come by for the majority of the 2021/22 campaign, with summer signing Gary Cahill coming in to be one of the first names on the teamsheet alongside Lloyd Kelly and Wales international Chris Mepham also available as an option in the middle.

He was omitted from the Cherries’ squad for yesterday evening’s tie against Queens Park Rangers due to a mutual agreement between manager Scott Parker and the centre-back, with the former admitting the latter could potentially depart the Vitality Stadium in the January window.

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Although the 41-year-old did say he could remain on the south coast beyond next month, a move is looking likely at this stage with Premier League sides Newcastle United and Watford and Championship rivals Forest and QPR all thought to be in the running to end the central defender’s decade-long stay at the second-tier side.

Steve Cooper’s men were also reported to be interested in the signature of Hearts centre-back John Souttar, though Blackburn Rovers are thought to be the side leading the chase after opening pre-contract talks with the Scottish international.

Cook’s contract with Bournemouth expires at the end of the campaign, with very little chance of the Englishman signing fresh terms at the automatic promotion contenders at this stage now he finds himself way down the pecking order.

He is likely to line up alongside two key Forest assets in Joe Worrall and Scott McKenna if he arrives at the City Ground.

The Verdict:

Having options in central defence when playing three at the back is vitally important as injury crises at West Brom and Middlesbrough have shown already this season, so to bring in someone of the 30-year-old’s experience can only be a plus.

His arrival would leave the East Midlands side with six centre-backs at their disposal, a good number with injuries and Covid cases coming into play, but that sixth-choice defence should perhaps be a younger player.

Loic Mbe Soh may be a youngster, but he would ideally want to be playing more football than he’s likely to get if Cook comes in, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go out on loan or Rodrigo Ely potentially head out either temporarily or permanently in his quest to play regularly after having the early stages of his Forest career severely disrupted by injuries.

The fact Ryan Yates can fill in at centre-back as well, with Braian Ojeda and Tyrese Fornah able to join the likes of James Garner and Jack Colback as options in his absence in the middle of the park, may limit the duo’s playing time further.

Nonetheless, bringing in the Bournemouth man will go a long way in tightening a strong defence further and they will have his promotion-winning experience to call upon in their quest to force their way into the top six.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Nottingham Forest enter transfer chase for EFL player amid Newcastle United, Watford, QPR links

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