Nottingham Forest are interested in Reading midfielder Josh Laurent, according to journalist Alan Nixon.
Laurent has just one year remaining on his current contract with Reading, and it remains to be seen as to whether he’ll sign a new deal with the Berkshire-based side at this stage of the summer.
The midfielder had previously been on the books of League One side Shrewsbury Town, and caught the eye with some strong displays in Salop.
Reading signed him in the summer of 2020, and Laurent has gone on to feature regularly for the Royals ever since, whilst striking up an impressive partnership with fellow midfielder Andy Rinomhota.
Laurent signed for Reading on a free transfer, so any fee involved over a potential move to Nottingham Forest would be a profit for the Royals ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Reading’s financial restrictions have been well-documented in recent seasons, with Veljko Paunovic recently revealing that some key players could still follow Omar Richards and Michael Olise out of the exit door at the Select Car Leasing Stadium before the summer transfer window reaches a conclusion.
Forest could potentially be fighting a losing battle in their efforts to re-sign James Garner on loan for the new league campaign, with the Manchester United midfielder catching the eye with a number of strong displays in his loan spell at the City Ground last term.
Garner had an average Whoscored rating of 6.98, which puts him top of the list when it comes to Nottingham Forest’s best performers during the 2020/21 season, which certainly makes for good reading for a player that only spent the second-half of the season with Chris Hughton’s side.
Garner had a pass success rate of 80.9%, whilst also averaging two tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game during last year’s campaign.
Laurent, who earns wages of £3,100 per-week, according to Salary Sport. has made a similar impact with Reading in his brief spell with the club to date, with the midfielder having an average Whoscored rating of 6.88 from last year’s campaign, as Reading finished seventh in the Championship table.
The midfielder plays a similar role to that of what Garner did with Forest, with the midfielder displaying his defensive side of the game, as well as showing that he’s comfortable in possession.
Laurent averaged two tackles per game, whilst also chipping in with an average of 1.4 interceptions for the Royals last term. The former Shrewsbury midfielder also had a pass success rate of 83.6% for Reading last term, and that’ll be a statistic that makes for strong reading for Nottingham Forest, as they target a move for the 26-year-old.
Reading boss Veljko Paunovic has previously praised Laurent for a ‘fantastic’ season whilst with the club last term, in an interview with the club’s official website.
“He’s had a fantastic season, I’m very happy for him and proud of his achievements. He’s worked hard and I think he has benefitted from the huge amount of personality he has.”
Forest’s supporters should be buzzing over this potential deal, as Laurent has certainly shown that he can perform to a high standard in the Championship, and he could prove to be the ideal alternative to Garner this summer.