Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has dropped a hint regarding his planned transfer business at the City Ground.
In recent comments cited by Nottinghamshire Live, the 41-year-old Reds boss revealed that he would be open to bringing in further additions in the free-agent market, in order to bolster his side’s depth at centre-forward.
Speaking about the possibility of signing a new striker, Cooper said: “It’s obviously something that is possible because it’s within the rules and there will always be free agents around – people who might have missed out on moves when the transfer window was open.
“I think we have to be very clear about what we need, and why. We don’t want to make any short-term decisions, even though we want to make sure we’re as competitive as we can be in the upcoming games. It’s probably more of a conversation with Dane [Murphy] and about thinking forward.
“But, if I’m being honest, my real focus is on the boys who are in the building. That’s always my focus. How we can help them, improve them, guide them, and do whatever it takes to get them to be at their best. There’s no point thinking too much on what we haven’t got. Let’s focus on what we have got, and try to do the best we can.”
While Lewis Grabban did feature in Forest’s 3-1 victory over Barnsley on Wednesday evening, despite the fact that Cooper had suggested before the fixture that the 33-year-old could be out for a number of weeks due to a thigh injury picked up against Millwall, the manager’s decision to start right-winger Philip Zinckernagel as his lone striker in the match highlights the club’s need of greater depth in the position.
As such, the Welshman’s claim that he would be open to bringing in a fresh face up top is sure to delight Nottingham Forest fans, as, despite Grabban’s improved performances in recent weeks, as well as the impressive display of Zinckernagel against Barnsley, the fact remains that the club’s only two natural options in the position, Grabban and Lyle Taylor, have scored just four Championship goals between them this season.
However, as Cooper also suggests, the club must not simply sign a new centre-forward just for the sake of it, with the potential addition of an out of contract striker only being advisable if the target were to fit both Dane Muprhy and Cooper’s criteria, as well as being an upgrade on at least one of the Reds’ current options.