Overseeing outgoings is as much of a priority for Nottingham Forest this summer as bringing in new faces.
The Reds need to bolster their ranks for the upcoming Premier League season, but they also need to trim numbers. They were already over the 25-man squad limit and space must also be made for any signings.
Several fringe players are likely to depart, while others face uncertain futures. Six players moving on – in Jesse Lingard, Jack Colback, Jordan Smith, Andre Ayew, Cafu and Lyle Taylor – when their contracts officially expire today marks the start of that work.
It has been a quiet start to the window at the City Ground, but the transfer activity is expected to ramp up next month as Steve Cooper ’s side return for pre-season. We take a look at some of those players with question marks over their futures.
Jonjo Shelvey: The midfielder was not involved in the run-in following a falling-out with Cooper. At the time, the head coach insisted there was no “ill-feeling” between them, but a parting of ways barely six months after he put pen to paper seems best for both parties.
Steve Cook: Left out of the 25-man squad list for the second half of the campaign, the defender has already said a decision will have to be made over his future. He will always be very well thought of Trentside as one of the promotion-winning heroes, but with 12 months left on his deal an exit appears likely.
Sam Surridge: As with Cook, the striker’s contract is due to run out in 2024. Typically, this is around the time clubs either offer fresh terms or look to cash-in rather than risk losing players on a free. Surridge will have no shortage of admirers. There has been plenty of interest in him in the past, and Ipswich Town are now said to be contemplating a summer swoop. Forest will want to make sure they don’t leave themselves short of attacking options, though.
Emmanuel Dennis: Leeds United have been linked with the forward, while his agent has reportedly held exploratory talks with potential suitors. Frustrating to watch at times in the Garibaldi, he struggled to make the kind of impact it was hoped he would when he joined last summer.
Ethan Horvath: Having impressed on loan as he helped Luton Town secure promotion to the top-flight, it is unlikely the shot-stopper will want to go back to sitting on the bench at the City Ground. Surprisingly, the Hatters have reportedly decided not to sign him on a permanent basis, but he will have other options.
Loic Mbe Soh: Since his switch from PSG in 2020, the centre-back has not quite been able to force his way into contention. He joined Guingamp on loan in January, and with a deal which runs out next year, Forest may well see it as the right time to let him go.
Jonathan Panzo: Rangers are very keen on the defender, who caught the eye on loan at Coventry City last season. Although it would be a shame to see young talent leave, for the Reds it could be an opportunity to make a bit of money.
Harry Arter: There is no question Forest would snap the hand off any club with an interest in the midfielder. He has not been part of the first-team set-up for some time, and that is unlikely to change any time soon. Moving him on is proving easier said than done, however.
Mohamed Drager: Loan club FC Luzern hold an option to make the right-back’s move a permanent one. Even if they do not take it up, another move will be sought for him. The likely outcome is he departs without playing a single game in the Garibaldi.
Hwang Ui-jo: Similarly to Drager, it is difficult to see the forward coming into the fold at Forest. He has said he wants to test himself in the Premier League, having gone on loan to Olympiacos and then FC Seoul after putting pen to paper for the Reds, but you wouldn’t bet on that happening.