Nottingham Forest’s interest in Reading midfielder Josh Laurent is more than just that according to The Athletic’s Paul Taylor, with a bid made for the 26-year-old.
The Reds have made a seven-figure offer for the Royals man, but have so far not been able to meet the asking price for Reading’s Player of the Season for the 2020-21 campaign.
Reading’s resolve has been tested though for a player who has less than one year remaining on his current contract, having penned a two-year deal when signing from League One side Shrewsbury Town last summer.
Laurent started 45 times for the Royals last season under Veljko Paunovic, usually playing next to Andy Rinomhota as a deep-lying midfield duo and he scored three times over the course of the campaign.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Nottingham Forest played at each of these 24 stadiums?
Rangers and Brighton were both linked with a move for Laurent earlier in the summer by The Sun, but the estimated transfer figure of £8 million at the time is unlikely to be matched by Forest and Reading may have to lower their sights on a potential transfer fee, with the club currently under an embargo due to breaching the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability rules.
Forest only have Ryan Yates, Cafu and Jack Colback as real options right now in the engine room with Harry Arter and Fouad Bachirou being out of favour, so you can see why a powerful presence like Laurent is being targeted.
Laurent can either be a holding player or a box-to-box type and that variation, as well as being one of Reading’s key players last season, will be why he’s being targeted by Forest.
Reading have already lost two key players this summer in Michael Olise and Omar Richards and whilst they won’t want to lose a third, they have to take into consideration that Laurent’s contract expires next summer.
They will not want another Richards situation on their hands where he runs his deal down so the Royals may have to cash in – although they won’t want it to be to a divisional rival ideally.