Nottingham Forest boss makes intriguing transfer admission amid striker links

By Sarah Clapson

Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton hasn’t ruled out dipping into the free agent market to further bolster his squad.

The Reds brought in 10 new additions over the course of the summer transfer window as part of a significant dressing room overhaul.

Philip Zinckernagel, Jordi Osei-Tutu, James Garner, Max Lowe and Djed Spence all penned loan deals, Ethan Horvath and Rodrigo Ely arrived on free transfers, and Braian Ojeda, Mohamed Drager and Xande Silva also agreed terms.

That recruitment has afforded Hughton more competition for places in most areas of the pitch, but questions still remain about whether there is enough firepower in the team, in particular.

However, Hughton says there is still space in the 25-man squad list which has to be submitted to the English Football League, and Forest’s transfer business may not yet be fully completed.

Asked if using the free agent market is a possibility, the Reds manager told NottinghamshireLive: “Yes, it is.

“It’s not something we will definitely be doing, but if I’m looking at the squad and as regards squad numbers that you have to put in, with the 25, we still have availability on the list.

“But what we won’t do is take somebody in just for the sake of taking somebody in.

“We will only take somebody in if they are available and they can add value to us. That would be the only way we would do that.”

Strengthening his attacking resources was a priority for Hughton in the summer, given his side struggled to find the back of the net last term and have continued to have the same problem this season.

Forest did try to bring in a striker, with deals failing to get over the line for several targets before last week’s deadline.

Silva is capable of playing up front, while Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor remain the senior options on the books.

But reports from the player’s native Argentina suggest the Reds are in talks with ex-Newcastle United forward Facundo Ferreyra, who is without a club after leaving Spanish side Celta Vigo.

“There’s never any value in being disappointed once the window closes,” Hughton said of not bringing in an out-and-out front man.

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“Yes, the club worked very, very hard for that to happen and we did look. I don’t think it would be any secret to say that was an area or a position we were very much looking at.

“But it didn’t happen.

“We still have a market. There’s still a market out there of players who are out of contract. But we know that’s a small market.

“In this period we’ve got to accept this is where we are and this is the squad we’ve got. If we are able to do something over and above that, great. If not, this is the squad that has got to try to get the points to start climbing up the table.”

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