Marcus Bettinelli will surely be Jokanovic’s first target if he gets Nottingham Forest job

Sky Sports reported on Friday that Nottingham Forest’s top target to replace Aitor Karanka is Slavisa Jokanovic, and if the former Fulham manager was to be appointed surely his first transfer target would be Cottagers goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Reds announced on Friday morning that Karanka had asked to be released from his contract with owner Evangelos Marinakis said to be unhappy that they weren’t situated in the play-off positions at this point in the season – even though they lie seventh and just four points adrift of arch-rivals Derby County in sixth.

Now Sky Sports report that the Greek supremo wants to bring Jokanovic to The City Ground following his sacking by Fulham in November, with the 50-year-old leading both the west London outfit and Watford to promotion to the Premier League previously.

Sky Sports add that the Serbian was identified for the previously vacant role at Forest’s Championship rivals Stoke City earlier this week, but decided that the role wasn’t for him.

Why would he target Bettinelli?

Should Jokanovic be appointed by Forest, it seems likely that his first transfer target this month would be the 6ft 4in colossus.

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The 26-year-old was Fulham’s number one last season as they went up to the Premier League in amazing circumstances following a brilliant second-half of the 2017/18 campaign, and he has even been named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad although he is yet to get his first cap.

Despite the fact he was dropped by Jokanovic towards the end of his reign at Craven Cottage, the Serbian showed how much he rates him by naming as captain against Everton and Arsenal in September and October, but the 26-year-old has found himself out of favour under Claudio Ranieri.

Meanwhile, Costel Pantilimon looks to be one of Forest’s weak links right now in their bid to secure a top-six finish this term, and Bettinelli would be a huge upgrade on the giant Romania international.