Premier League interest in Lascelles sparks Forest recruitment drive?
Nottingham Forest, 11/2 chances with Coral for promotion from the Championship, have captured of a third central defender this summer in Hamburg and former Chelsea player Michael Mancienne.
The 26-year-old was coached by Reds boss Stuart Pearce when involved in the England Under-21 setup. Mancienne, who has second-tier experience from loan spells at QPR and Wolves earlier in his career, has penned a three-year contract the City Ground and moves to the East Midlands for a reported fee of £1m.
Bundesliga outfit Hamburg are reshaping their squad following a close shave with relegation last term. Mancienne’s arrival at Forest will supplement swoops for ex-Sunderland player Louis Laing and Barcelona academy graduate Roger Riera.
Signing so many centre backs has sparked speculation that the Reds could be selling prized asset Jamaal Lascelles, who has consistently been linked with Premier League club Tottenham. It is a well-trodden path from Forest to White Hart Lane, so the 20-year-old England youth international would follow in the footsteps of Spurs skipper Michael Dawson and Andy Reid.
Pearce also has Danny Collins, Jack Hobbs and Kelvin Wilson to choose from in the heart of defence. Utility man Greg Halford has also operated as a centre half throughout his career, leaving an abundance of options for that area.
Having been outside the Premier League since 1999, some 15 years now, the Reds have since struggled to hang on to the fruits of their academy. Jermaine Jenas and more recently Patrick Bamford are other high-profile examples of players being poached from Forest by Newcastle and Chelsea respectively, the latter before signing professional terms.
With Lascelles, then, it is sadly a question of if rather than when. Even if Pearce were to steer the Reds to promotion or the Championship title (18/1), then more established top-flight teams would still be circling.