Nottingham Forest have a potential plan in mind if they cannot stop Joe Worrall from departing this summer.
According to Claret and Hugh, Forest boss Steve Cooper has scouted West Ham’s Emmanuel Longelo on “several occasions” and he could be used as a “makeweight” in a deal that would see centre-back Worrall head the other way.
The report also claimed that the East Midlands club had a “ridiculously low” bid for the 21-year-old rejected back in January, but the Championship outfit remain keen on bringing him to the City Ground.
The 32-year-old Sunderland youth academy graduate has earned praise for stepping in for the ex-Derby prospect, living up to the “bulldog” comparison made by teammate Phillip Zinckernagel earlier on in the season, averaging a 6.89 match rating according to SofaScore, in the second tier – playing in an unfamiliar position.
However, he may not have to fill in on the left side of defence for much longer, as the club eye up a transfer for Longelo.
Valued at £135k by Transfermarkt, the youngster could potentially prove to be excellent value for money – particularly if he is included as a sweetener in the Worrall deal.
A rapid full-back who loves to attack, in many ways he is similar to fan-favourite loaned-in Djed Spence – just operating on the opposite flank.
Described as “very impressive” by London Evening Standard journalist Jack Rosser, Longelo has made 14 Premier League 2 appearances this season, grabbing three assists and earning a start in the Hammers’ 1-0 home loss in the Europa League to Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb.
Having also been named as one of three players set for breakthrough years at West Ham by the Evening Standard in late December, alongside Sonny Perkins and Ben Johnson, it’s clear that the East London club rate him highly.
But, the promise of first-team football, even if Forest earn promotion to the top flight, could prove enough to persuade him to become a part of the Cooper project and East Midlands revolution.