February 29 2000

Stern's Return: Stern John is making good progress as he recovers from a cruciate ligament injury to his knee.

The striker has been to see world-renowned specialist, Professor Maertens, in Brussels. The specialist has told John that he can now resume light training. John is still wearing a knee brace at the moment, but this is due to be removed on Friday.

If John's recuperation goes well, the specialist has told him that he could start playing again some time in April.

David Platt said: "Stern was always due to see Professor Maertens a month after he suffered the injury.

"He's delighted with the progress Stern is making and believes that, with the right rehabilitation, he could play again this season.

"It's a major boost for us but we won't push Stern too far too soon, that would be too risky."

February 28 2000

Baggies Back For Marlon: West Brom are understood to have renewed their interest in Forest Striker Marlon Harewood. Baggies manager, Brian Little, has been told that he does have more money in the transfer kitty and a new striker is his priority, with Marlon at the top of his list, as he looks for ways to drag his team clear of the relegation zone.

Forest have already rejected a West Brom bid of around £500,000 for Harewood, telling them they value the player at £1 million. West Brom thought this was excessive considering their current financial problems. But now Little has been given more money it is believed he is ready to increase his offer for the player.

The next hurdle for Little, however, will be the fact that Forest do not want to sell one of their only three fit strikers and definitely not to a relegation rival.

February 25 2000

Three In A Row: David Platt is hoping to field an unchanged side as he aims to win the third week running. After beating Walsall away and Crystal Palace at home, Forest face their toughest test when the travel to Molineux tomorrow to face Wolves. Though the match should prove to be a tougher test for Forest they go in to the game full of confidence after their first back-to-back wins of the season.

On the injury front, Jon Olav Hjelde has been receiving treatment for a minor knock this week but should get the all clear to take his place in the centre of defence. Riccardo Scimeca has recovered after a two week layoff with a groin strain, but is only likely to get a place on the bench.

February 22 2000

Wright Was Wrong Man: There is a lot of speculation in the press today that Forest were given the chance to bring Ian Wright back to the club when he was released by Celtic.

The speculation concludes that the striker was snubbed by the Forest board because of the size of his wages and the disciplinary charges he faces from the Scottish FA over the alleged incident between Wright and a fourth official.

Despite the Forest board's concerns over Wright's wages it is widely believed that Wright has taken a considerable drop in his pay to move to Burnley.

Preston Deny Marlon Rumours: Preston have today denied weekend reports that they are chasing Forest striker, Marlon Harewood. The rumours said Preston were ready to make a 750,000 bid for the 20-year-old, but the rumours have dismissed by their manager, David Moyes.

Preston's deputy chairman, Derek Shaw, said: "To the best of my knowledge there is nothing in it at the moment. I don't know if Marlon is one of the players that David has his eye on because he is looking at so many at the moment."

Shaw then went on to say that the manager would be stepping up his race for a front man and he did not rule out a move for Harewood in the future.

February 21 2000

Carlos Off To Spain: Latest reports are indicating that rising young Spanish star, Carlos Merino, could be on his way out of Forest and back to his home town club, Athletico Bilbao, at the end of the season.

The 19 year old made his break through into the first team this season, but he has failed to keep a regular place in the team. This is thought to be of concern to the player and one of the key reasons behind his wish to move on. He is out of contract in the summer and will therefore be able to leave for nothing.

February 20 2000

Preston In For Marlon: The Sunday press are today speculating that Preston, currently chasing promotion in the Second Division, are ready to make a 750,000 bid for striker Marlon Harewood.

The striker, was originally linked with a move to the Hawthornes only last week, but West Brom refused to meet Forest's evaluation of the player, around £1,000,000. However, Preston appear to be willing to go a lot higher than the Baggies, though they are still £250,000 short of Forest's valuation.

Another problem standing in the way for Preston is that the sale of Marlon would leave Forest with only three experienced strikers, one of whom is out for the rest of the season, so unless Platt has another striker lined up to replace Marlon there is little sense in selling him.

February 18 2000

Chesterfield Rumours Are Rubbish!: Well, what a surprise. Turns out the rumours linking Brian Clough with a plan to buy Chesterfield are a load of rubbish, at least according to the great-ones son, Nigel.

Nigel Clough said: "It just seems like someone has made these things up because it's just total and utter rubbish. I don't know where the story came from but I'm not even going to waste anytime thinking about it."

February 16 2000

Cloughs To Buy Chesterfield: To be honest, I don't believe this rumour at all, it just made me smile. However, one or two papers and the Internet seem to be reporting that Brian Clough and his son Nigel are planning to buy Chesterfield.

Rumours claim that Brain Clough has tabled a £2million bid for the club, which is currently up for sale. They also go on to claim that Brian will install his son Nigel as the club manager.

It's a nice idea, but I can't see it myself.

February 15 2000

Ruddock Deal Is Off: David Platt has admitted that he did try to sign Neil Ruddock, but after signing Tony Vaughan he will not be pursuing his interest.

Joker Deal Already Done: It is widely believed (and reported on Finnish TV) that FC Jokerit 'keeper, Pasi Laaksonen has already struck a deal with Forest to join them as a replacement for Mark Crossley.

A Forest supporter from Finland, Conny Eriksson, has provided us with the following quotes from Finnish Teletext, they are attributed to the FC Jokerit general manager Mecki Kahre: "Laaksonen isn't just leaving for a trial at Forest, because they pretty much know his capability. The main reason for Laaksonen's visit is to get to know the club, play a reserve match and set personal terms with Forest."

He continues: "Terms between FC Jokerit and Nottingham Forest have already been finalized."

February 14 2000

Razor Linked: Forest are understood to have made a £250,000 bid for West Ham defender Neil 'Razor' Ruddock. The id is understood to have been made shortly before the loan signing of Tony Vaughan last week. The main stumbling block to the move appears to be Ruddock's wages, estimated at £15,000 per week, and well outside of the current pay structure in place at Forest.

February 13 2000

Joker In The Pack: Forest are understood to be in a race with West Brom to sign FC Jokerit's 'keeper Pasi Laaksonen. Forest are particularly keen to sign a 'keeper before the end of the season as both Dave Beasant and Mark Crossley are out of contract. Mark Crossley has turned down a deal already and it is understood that no new deal will be put to him, however, very little has been said by Forest on whether or not Beasant will be offered a contract.

Bartman In Swap Deal: Rumours are rife on Merseyside that Forest are to swoop for Everton striker Danny Cadamarteri and an 'unnamed' player.

The bid is thought to include Chris Bart Williams going the other way as Everton are believed to be interested in the midfielder. Cadamarteri is valued at around 1 million and was interesting Manchester City last week. He also had a loan spell at Fulham earlier in the season.

The so called 'unnamed' player is thought to be utility man Mitch Ward, a player who hasn't really fulfilled the promise he showed as a youngster at Sheffield United. It is common knowledge around Goodison Park that Ward wants to return closer to his South Yorkshire home and has been linked with a return to Sheffield as well.

February 11 2000

Harewood On His Way: Brian Little, the west Brom manager, is hoping to tie up a move for Marlon Harewood in the next 48 hours.

West Brom have made it clear that they are interested in the 20-year-old for the past fortnight, but until now all attempts have been dismissed by David Platt.

Little commented: "I am certainly hoping that something might happen in the next 48 hours, but you can make a phone call one day and everything is going well, then you make another and it is all off."

The offloading of Harewood does not make logical sense for Forest at the moment though. Firstly, Harewood going would leave them with only two currently fit strikers, Freedman and Lester. This would seem a dangerous move unless Platt already has a replacement lined up. Secondly, West Brom are currently close rivals of Forest in the relegation battle so selling Harewood to strengthen their squad makes little sense.

February 10 2000

The End Of The Road For Norm: Well it is if you believe everything you read in the tabloid press. The Sun are today running the following article under the headline RAW DEAL FOR MARK.

Nottingham Forest have withdrawn their offer of a new contract to Mark Crossley.

The Keeper must look for another club in the summer after a decade at the City Ground.

Crossley, 30, had rejected a pay-as-you-play deal which could have cut his 8,000-a-week wages.

Forest have refused to make any other offer and are now looking for an end of season signing.

February 8 2000

Platt Denies Hope Bid: David Platt has today denied that he has made a £650,000 bid for Forest old boy and current Scunthorpe central defender Chris Hope.

Platt said: "We haven't made an inquiry. It's something that's on the back-burner. We've heard one or two decent reports about him and had a look at him but that's the extent of it at the moment."

February 7 2000

Forest Old Boy Linked: Rumours are circulating that Forest are about to make a bid for Scunthorpe United's central defender, Chris Hope.

The highly rated Hope started his career at The City Ground, but never made a first team appearance. He was sold to Scunthorpe in 1993 for a fee of £50,000.

David Platt was present at Scunthorpe's game against Wrexham last Tuesday night, but Scunthorpe are refusing to talk about the matter.

Prior Deal Revived: David Platt is understood to be in the process of reviving his bid for Derby County's defender, Spencer Prior. The deal was aborted last week, after Platt agreed a fee of £600,000 with Derby for the player, but failed to reach agreement with Prior over personal terms.

He is expected to go back to the negotiating table in the next day or so with improved terms for Prior.

February 5 2000

Red Lester Is Ready: Jack Lester is ready to make his home debut against Manchester City this afternoon after recovering from a groin strain.

Platt signed Lester 10 days ago, however, he was unable to play against QPR last week because of the injury.

Dave Beasant and Jon Olav Hjelde are also expected to come straight back into the side after both serving one match suspensions.

David Prutton will miss out this afternoon as he has to serve a suspension for picking up five yellow cards.

February 3 2000

Baggies Want Marlon: Marlon Harewood is being linked with a possible move to West Brom after the West Midlands club approached David Platt about signing him.

The Baggies manager, Brian Little, is believed to have offered 400,000 for the 20-year-old, but Platt has rejected the advances as he rates the striker nearer the 1 million mark.

Platt is still looking for a further striker to bolster his current firepower, so at this point in time selling one of the current crop may not make a lot of sense.

February 2 2000

Big Ron Stabbed Us In The Back: Rumours are circulating today that former boss, Ron Atkinson, was the man who convinced Steve Bruce to steal Martin Smith from under David Platt's nose.

It turns out that the former Man U, Villa, Wednesday and Forest boss convinced Huddersfield manager, Steve Bruce, to make a last ditch bid for the Sheffield United striker.

Bruce confided in Atkinson that he had received an offer from Ipswich for his striker, Marcus Stewart, and although he was tempted he didn't want to sell his team short.

Atkinson then convinced him that selling Stewart was the right way to go, whilst at the same time snatching of Smith would be a steal at just 300,000. Bruce then went into action, and through the advice of 'Big Ron,' improved the players personal terms above that offered by Forest and stole the deal from under Forest's nose at the last gasp.

Striker search Is On: David Platt must now redouble his efforts to secure a new striker following Martin Smith's decision to snub a move to Forest in favour of Huddersfield last week.

Platt is now forced to go back into the market for a striker to help bolster his firepower, which has been a weak point all season. And with Stern John out of action till the end of the season, the manager is only able to call on Dougie Freedman, Marlon Harewood and new signing Jack Lester, who is nursing a slight groin problem.

Platt commented: "I would like to bring in another striker. After discovering that Martin Smith would not be joining us, I spent the weekend forming a list of possible targets and myself and my staff will be working hard to try and get someone in."

Meanwhile, Lester has resumed light training and hopes to be fit to make his debut in Saturday's City Ground clash with Manchester City, who currently occupy second spot in the Division One table.

February 1 2000

Platt Denies Whyte Link: David Platt has today dismissed rumours linking him with a move for Aberdeen's Derek Whyte. Though he does admit that the search for an experienced defender will continue.

Johnson On Comeback Trail: Midfielder, Andy Johnson is well down the road to recovery and could even be lined up to make an appearance in Saturday's home game against Manchester City.

Johnson has missed the last four Forest games after undergoing minor surgery to repair a damaged nerve in his foot.


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