Nottingham Forest have launched a fresh £1.5m bid for Jed Wallace in an attempt to lure him away from Championship rivals Millwall, according to Nottinghamshire Live.
The 27-year-old was initially expected to sign a pre-contract agreement with Turkish top-tier side Besiktas (Sky Sports 5/1; 11:33am), but a late move from Forest has put his future in further doubt after months of speculation, with his contract at The Den expiring at the end of the campaign.
Steve Cooper’s men are unable to recruit him for free until the expiration of his contract in the summer, but that hasn’t deterred them from making a move as they look to conclude some of their transfer business early this January at the City Ground.
Quiz: Can you name which club Nottingham Forest signed these 28 midfielders from?
Football League World revealed back in September that it was looking increasingly difficult for Gary Rowett’s side to secure a contract extension for their talisman, with the ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers man being linked with moves to Premier League sides Burnley, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Brentford.
Scottish Premiership rivals Celtic and Rangers were also thought to have Wallace in their sights after seeing him become the Lions’ main contributor going forward, though it now looks set to be a tussle between Besiktas and Forest as both sides look to get this deal over the line.
Two ‘derisory’ bids were reported to have been rejected by his current side from Forest, although they are seemingly not out of the race just yet as they look to strengthen for a potential promotion push, with a £1.5m bid now being launched with potential add-ons on top of that.
The City Ground club have already recruited Aston Villa’s Keinan Davis on loan and experienced centre-back Steve Cook during this window so far, with full-back Richie Laryea also thought to be on his way.
Even £1.5m probably won’t be enough for Forest to lure Wallace away from the English capital, so unless they can stump up much more, it would be no surprise to see the winger sign on the dotted line with Besiktas instead.
You can understand why the Reds are coming in with low offers, with £1.5m better than what the Lions would receive if he was to leave on a pre-contract agreement and the need to stay within the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules, but there’s very little chance of them getting him unless they can at least double that and more.
With the inconsistency of many other teams in the Championship, they will still be hoping to push for a top-six spot and Wallace could play a key role in getting them there, so they may be willing to risk losing him for free in pursuit of a bigger financial prize.
Getting to the Premier League would be just that with TV deals and other sponsorship opportunities – and this just shows how much of a challenge the East Midlands outfit will face in securing his signing.
They do have decent wide options to call upon if this deal doesn’t go through though, so Cooper’s side can afford to remain patient at the negotiating table in their hopes to recruit a top talisman for a cut-price fee.