Steve Cooper is set to put Swansea City midfielder Jay Fulton at the top of his transfer wishlist if he’s appointed Nottingham Forest manager, according to The Sun on Sunday (19/9, page 61).
The duo spent two seasons with each other in South Wales following Cooper’s arrival in 2019, with Fulton being a first-team regular under the 41-year-old and helping to guide the Swans to consecutive finishes in the top six.
The second-tier side even managed to reach the play-off final at Wembley in May, but two quickfire goals in the first half from opponents Brentford and the former Scottish youth international’s red card in the second 45 ended their Premier League dreams.
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After a successful first couple of seasons and previously interested Premier League sides including Crystal Palace opting not to appoint him, Cooper looked set to lead the Swans into his third season at the club.
But he left at the end of July due to his concerns over the direction of the club – and now looks set to succeed Chris Hughton as the next Nottingham Forest manager after the Irishman’s sacking last week.
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As per The Sun on Sunday, he will target Jay Fulton whose starting spot is currently in jeopardy after the signings of Jamie Paterson and Flynn Downes in the previous transfer window.
But even with these new recruits, should they let him go? And how much should they hold out for if Forest’s interest becomes concrete?
We asked three of our writers at Football League World for their verdicts on these two key questions.
I think a sale would make sense if the Swans receive around £3.5-4m.
Firstly, that would represent a good profit for a player that the Welsh side picked up for a small fee from Scotland, but it would importantly give Martin a chance to reinvest in the squad.
Fulton hasn’t featured in the past three games under the new boss, so he isn’t someone that Martin is relying on moving forward as he looks to implement his style of play. With Swansea not in a position where they spend a lot of money, it’s likely to be a case of selling to buy, so this would make sense.
If they got around £4m for the player, that would give Martin some freedom in the market and it would be interesting to see who he brought in, whilst reuniting with Cooper would be a good move for Fulton.
Jay Fulton is a player that Swansea City clearly hold a lot of value in and it is easy to forget that he only just signed a new contract to keep him at the club until the summer of 2024 back in January this year.
Therefore, Nottingham Forest are not going to be able to get him out of Swansea without paying a large transfer fee for his services.
That might well put off Forest from making a move for him but it will be dependent on how much they want to back Steve Cooper if he does take over as expected.
Cooper made Fulton a major part of his side last season as Swansea reached the play-off final, it is obvious that he highly rates the midfielder and wanted the Swans to commit him to a new deal so that he could build his side around his presence in the middle of the park.
Now though with Cooper gone, Fulton has found it a little more difficult to get into the side at the start of the campaign under Russell Martin.
That might suggest that Swansea could cash in on him in January if Nottingham Forest come in with a sizeable offer for the midfielder.
It is though just from a financial perspective going to be a difficult deal for Nottingham Forest to pull off.
Swansea should be demanding at least around £2 million if not higher than that for him considering what he brings to the side and also considering his contract situation.
Yes, I think it would make sense for the Swans to look to cash in on Fulton should Forest come calling in January or next summer.
The industrious and gritty midfielder has proven a useful player during his time with the Swans but I’m not sure if he fits the style that Russell Martin is looking to play.
I’d question whether he’s technical enough to play in central midfield in a Martin side and he now seems to have fallen out of favour, having been dropped to the bench since the international break.
The 27-year-old still has a few years left on his contract in South Wales and he’s proven at Championship level, so Swansea should be able to hold out for upward of £1 million.