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Deals for Nottingham Forest to do in remainder of January window

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Nottingham Forest have three weeks from today to get their January transfer business done.

 

The winter window will close on Thursday, February 1. Premier League clubs have until 11pm that day to do deals, while there are various deadlines for leagues across Europe.

 

It has been a relatively quiet start to the month for the Reds. Below, we take a look at what still needs to be done before the cut-off point.

 

Incomings

Forest are yet to make a signing this month – but that is no bad thing.

 

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It might be Nuno Espirito Santo’s first transfer window as head coach, but there is still no need for a mass dressing room overhaul.

 

Nuno wanted to take time to assess his squad after replacing Steve Cooper at the helm last month.

 

He has been keen to give players a chance to show what they can do, having stressed his arrival represented a clean slate for everyone.

 

The Portuguese has said he has a firm idea of the areas he believes are in need of strengthening.

 

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However, he has given very little away other than to state any arrivals must improve the quality of the group.

 

“If someone comes, it is to help and to improve the quality. And it is not easy to improve the quality; it has to be the real one,” he said last week.

 

A key decision centres around whether Forest feel they need another goalkeeper.

 

Matt Turner and Odysseas Vlachodimos signed on permanent deals in the summer but neither has been particularly convincing so far.

 

The Reds have been keen to add a central defender in the form of a right-sided equivalent of Murillo – someone who is comfortable in possession and can pick a pass.

 

Attacking reinforcements would also be welcome, although Nuno has at least got several players firing.

 

Not so long ago, it seemed Forest would be in desperate need of back-up for the injured Taiwo Awoniyi this month. However, Nuno has started to get the best out of Chris Wood to ease a sense of urgency on that front.

 

Moreover, Awoniyi could be back sooner than expected from a groin problem as he is making good progress in his recovery.

 

The Reds’ transfer business will be impacted by their financial situation.

 

They should find out next week whether they will be charged with breaching the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability rules.

 

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Outgoings

Gustavo Scarpa and Andrey Santos have already departed. But Forest still have a fair bit of trimming numbers to do.

 

The balance they must strike is to ensure they are not left short of options in certain departments – particularly while they have six players at the Africa Cup of Nations. They are particularly light in defence at the moment, for example.

 

Scott McKenna is likely to move on this month, while Andrew Omobamidele could go on loan and Joe Worrall’s future is uncertain.

 

However, with Willy Boly and Moussa Niakhate on international duty and Felipe sidelined, Worrall was included in the starting XI against Blackpool last weekend while McKenna and Omobamidele were on the bench.

 

It remains to be seen what happens with loanees Nuno Tavares, Gonzalo Montiel and Divock Origi.

 

The former caught the eye from off the bench in the FA Cup but reports have suggested Arsenal may look to sell him this month.

 

Montiel has done pretty well under Nuno, so having at one stage looked likely to have his loan spell cut short it would now not be a surprise to see him stay.

 

Origi, though, has barely featured so far under Nuno and missed the last two games due to injury.

 

In addition to Omobamidele, loans could be sought for Brandon Aguilera and George Shelvey to ensure they have much-needed game time.

 

Shelvey’s fellow goalkeeper Ethan Horvath is expected to leave as his contract is up in the summer and he was not included in the 25-man Premier League squad. The American has admirers in the Championship.

 

Meanwhile, a call will need to be made over Alex Mighten. His loan spell at KV Kortrijk was ended early this week. His contract at the City Ground runs until 2025, but the 21-year-old is at something of a crossroads as he looks to realise his potential.

 

The Reds will also need to sort the future of Richie Laryea, whose loan with Vancouver Whitecaps officially expired on December 31.

 

The MLS outfit had previously indicated they would look to “negotiate” with the Reds at the end of his deal to turn his move into a permanent one, but they have now said that appears to be a no-go as things stand.

 

Contract calls

Players’ contract situations may well influence decisions over who stays and who goes before the deadline. Forest have several players whose deals are set to expire in the summer, therefore this window represents a final opportunity to cash-in if fresh terms are not agreed.

 

Either way, decisions about those concerned will need to be made at some point in the coming weeks and months. The players affected are Horvath,

 

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Shelvey (with the club holding an option to extend until 2025), McKenna, Boly, Felipe, Wood, Wayne Hennessey, Loic Mbe Soh, Serge Aurier, Ola Aina (deal includes future options), Cheikhou Kouyate and Harry Arter.

 

The club set the ball rolling on contract decisions by activating a one-year extension option in Harry Toffolo’s deal last week.

 

The defender will now be tied to the Reds until 2025.

 

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