Nottingham Forest have been dealt a further blow to their hopes of keeping Joe Worrall at The City Ground this summer after a fresh twist about his list of suitors was made over the weekend.
That’s according to a report by The Sun on Sunday (via Football League World), who claim that newly promoted Premier League side Brentford are now keeping a close eye on the situation of the Forest centre-back ahead of a potential move in the summer transfer window.
The Bees are the latest of a host of top-flight teams believed to be keen on the 24-year-old, with Burnley, Norwich City and West Ham United all being linked with the former England U21 international, for whom Chris Hughton’s side are reported to be demanding a fee of around £10m to part with this summer.
Having just witnessed his side endure something of a season to forget in the Championship, with the Reds finishing in a rather embarrassing 17th place in the second tier standings last term, the now very real prospect of losing his star defender this summer is sure to be an eventuality that will leave Hughton gutted.
Indeed, despite Forest’s general poor performances last season, Worrall was one of the few players to come out of the campaign with their reputation intact, if not improved.
Over his 31 Championship appearances for the Garibaldi in 2020/21, the £3.6m-rated man helped his side keep 12 clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.1 interceptions, 0.8 tackles, 4.2 clearances and winning 3.5 duels per game.
These returns saw the man Steven Gerrard dubbed an “outstanding” defender earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.94, ranking him as Hughton’s fifth-best performer in the second tier of English football.
As such, with the Nottingham Forest manager undoubtedly hoping for an improved campaign next time around with Forest, should he go on to lose the services of Worrall this summer – a prospect that appears increasingly likely with more and more Premier League interest reported in the 24-year-old – it would come as huge blow for the 62-year-old, who would then have to find a suitable replacement for the home-grown Forest captain in the current transfer window – a rather unenviable task.
The one saving grace in Brentford joining the race for Worrall is that it could drive up his price, but Hughton will be gutted to lose such a key player ahead of what will be a crucial season for Forest..