Play Down Crossley Link: New
Owls Boss, Paul Jewell, has been playing down press speculation that the Owls
are set to make a move for Mark Crossley. The speculation suggested that Crossley
was the immediate answer to the Owls goalkeeping shortage following departure
of Pavel Srnicek.
However, Jewell refused to confirm or deny any interest in the player saying:
"Agents ring you up and mention a certain name, and the next thing you know
it's in the newspaper.
"The goalkeeping front is a matter of some concern, but we still have six
weeks or so before the season starts and it's important that we don't rush
in and take the first one we see just because we're light."
To Face Leeds: David
Platt is trying to put the finishing touches to a trial period for Sami Al-Jaber
in the hope that he can use Forest's pre-season friendly with Leeds United
to determine whether or not to make a move for the Saudi Arabian international.
Platt is looking at the clash with Leeds as an ideal platform upon which to
evaluate Al-Jaber's suitability. If all goes according to plan and Al-Jaber
confirms his reputation on English soil then Forest will aim to line up a
loan move with his current club Al-Hilal.
Chase Quashie: Birmingham
City are the latest club to be linked with a move for unsettled midfielder
Nigel Quashie. The latest speculation is that Trevor Francis is keen on doing
a deal for Quashie and is thought to be willing to send Peter Ndlovu
in the opposite direction as part of the deal.
Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean international and currently has 12 months left on his
contract at City. However, the past season was blighted by injury and he was
transfer listed along with several other big names by City at the close of
Persue Quashie: After
yesterday's rumours that Nigel Quashie had been linked with a swap move to
Millwall, Portsmouth have now entered the frame. Manager Tony Pulis has expressed
an interest in the former QPR man, who has failed to settle at the City Ground
and was transfer-listed in the closing stages of last season. It is not known
yet whether this is just newspaper speculation or Portsmouth are tabling a
Into The Lions Den: Rumours
are surfacing that indicate Nigel Quashie could be on his way back to London
to join Millwall. Rumours also indicate that Millwall striker Neil Harris
could be on his way to the City Ground in an exchange move.
Harris managed to knock in 25 goals for Millwall last season and could be
an asset for Forest who are currently short of goalscoring power.
Quashie joined Forest from QPR in 1998 for a sum of £2.5 million and
despite playing in 28 games for Forest last season he is unsettled at the
City Ground and has been on the transfer list for a couple of months now.
A move back to London is understood to be high on his list of priorities.
Favourites For Crossley: Sheffield
Wednesday have emerged as the current favourites to land the signature of
Mark Crossley after their current 'keeper, Pavel Srnicek walked out on Wednesday
following relegation from the Premiership, claiming that he wants to play
in the top flight.
New Owl's boss, Paul Jewell currently has only Kevin Pressman at his disposal,
so earlier rumours linking Crossley with a move to Hillsborough could turn
out to be correct after all.
Still Chasing Jones: Forest
are understood to be closing in on Tranmere's Gary Jones who is available
on a Bosman this summer. The 25-year-old is also being chased by Dave Bassett
at Barnsley, but it is rumoured that the player has indicated he would prefer
a switch to The City Ground and is poised for talks with manager David Platt
within the next few days.
Platt is due to return from holiday tomorrow and one of his first jobs will
be to meet Jones and try to tie up any loose ends on the transfer.
Delays Return: It is
believed that Colin Calderwood has delayed his comeback from injury after
accepting that he will not be fit enough to start pre-season training with
the rest of the first team squad.
Calderwood is still on crutches after an operation to repair a broken leg
and damaged ankle ligaments. He received the injury against Birmingham City
towards the end of last season when he fell awkwardly after challenging for
a high ball. He now expects to be back in full training by late August.
Despite the setback in his recovery, Calderwood is optimistic about the coming
season for Forest, saying: "There is no way we will be allowed to have a season
like the last one.
"But it is going to be very difficult because there are a lot of clubs capable
of challenging for promotion.
"But I think we're going to be one of them . We've definitely got the players
and the ability."
"I just hope I can be part of it as soon as possible."
Defenders on the Mend: Having
already received the news that Colin Calderwood and Tony Vaughan are well
on the road to being fit for the start of the new season, Forest have now
received a further boost with the news that Salvatore Matrecano and Jesper
Mattsson are also making good progress in their bids to get fit.
Mattsson injured his knee in the pre-season game against Bradford City and
was out all through the season. He returned to his former club, Halmstad at
the end of the last season in a bid to get himself fit again. The plan appears
to be working well and the Swedish international is expected to be ready for
the start of the new season on August 12.
Matrecano suffered serious knee ligament damage injury early last season and
he was forced to sit out the rest of the campaign. He started his comeback
at the end of the season with a couple of appearances in the reserves and
then returned to Italy to work on his fitness throughout the summer. He is
also expected to be ready for the start of the new season.
Recovering: Full back
Jim Brennan is well on the road to recovery after undergoing a hernia operation
at the end of last season. He has been recovering in his Native Canada, and
expects to link up with the rest of the squad for the pre-season tour of the
Still O'Neill Target: Today's
newspapers are reporting that Mark Crossley is still a target for Martin O'Neill.
O'Neill was linked with the keeper while he was still manager at Leicester
City, however, when he moved on to the managers job at Celtic it looked like
Crossley would miss out.
The press are also speculating that despite O'Neill's departure for Celtic,
Leicester are still interested in Crossley.
Look At Roberts: The
latest player to be attracting the attention of David Platt is Bristol Rovers
striker Jason Roberts. Roberts failed to play a game for his first team, Wolves
and spent loan periods at Torquay and Bristol City. However, since he made
the permanent move to Bristol Rovers his career has taken off and a good tally
of goals last season has bought him to the attention of Platt.
Rovers value the striker at £3 million, but are reluctant to let the
player leave. David Platt may find the competition for the youngster a bit
hot as other First Division and Premiership clubs are also rumoured to be
interested in the striker.
On The Mend: Forest's
defensive pairing of Colin Calderwood and Tony Vaughan are both reportedly
making good recoveries after undergoing surgery. Both look like being ready
for the start of the new season though they may miss out on some or all of
the pre-season games.
Calderwood has been rehabilitating
at Lilleshall and is due back at The City Ground next Monday to step up his
recovery from the injury, a broken leg and ankle ligament damage. He will
join Tony Vaughan, who went under the knife for a knee injury. Vaughan has
given up his summer holiday in a bid to get fit for the new season and has
been training everyday at the City Ground to aid his recovery.
Is Target: Forest
are reportedly interested in 26 year old Reading central defender Linvoy Primus.
Primus is out of contract and has turned down a new deal with the Royals.
face stiff competition for the former Barnet and Charlton player from both
Southampton and Barnsley.
Deal Is No Go: Forest
have today reportedly had their cash plus player offer for Craig Hignett turned
down by Barnsley. Forest are understood to have offered a substantial amount
of cash plus Dougie Freedman in exchange for the attacking midfielder, however,
Dave Bassett has turned down the offer. It is not known whether Forest have
any plans to increase their offer at the moment.
Says No To Foxes: According
to the Sunday press today, Stuart Pearce has turned down the chance to become
Leicester City's new manager, in favour of continuing his playing career at
According to the articles, Psycho
was the Foxes first choice to step into the managers chair after Martin O'Neill
left for Celtic. Now that he has turned them down they are understood to be
turning their attention to Peter Taylor, the current Gillingham manager.
Chases Hignett: David
Platt is rumoured to be chasing Barnsley midfielder Craig Hignett. According
to the speculation Forest have made a ‘cash-plus-player’ bid for the 30-year-old
Hignett is believed to be unsettled
after Barnsley failed in their bid to reach the Premier League when they were
beaten in the play-off final by Ipswich. The main areas of concern for Platt
are the lack of goals from the strike force, so a first class striker appears
to be the main target, however, Hignett is a midfielder with an impressive
goalscoring ratio, having finished last season with 21 goals, including two
in the play-off final against Ipswich.
Platt said: “We could do with
a midfield player who can set the world alight in terms of goalscoring and
Craig’s record speaks for itself in that department.
“The odd goal here and there would have put a different complexion on last
season and Craig is the type of player who could provide us with that bit
“He not only scores goals, but being such an attack-minded midfielder, he
also creates plenty of chances, so he would give us so many options.”
Forest are not alone in the
chase for Hignett and currently they face competition several other clubs
including Premiership teams like Bradford and Manchester City.
Linked To Spain: Mark
Crossley has been linked with possible moves to Spain today. It is understood
that two Spanish Primera League clubs are chasing the signature of the 31
year old Welsh International.
Big Norm was being linked with
a move to Leicester City but the deal appears to have died a natural death
after Martin O'Neill moved to Celtic.
Linked To Forest: It
is rumoured today that David Platt is tracking Sheffield Wednesday defender
Ian Nolan, who can leave on a free transfer this summer.
The 29 year-old has made nearly
200 appearances for the South Yorkshire club, but will leave Hillsborough
this summer after failing to agree a new deal.
The defender, a Northern Ireland
international, is attracting a lot of interest from a number of clubs and
at the last count Forest faced competition from West Ham, Charlton and Bolton
for his services.
Lead Race For Tranmere Striker: Forest
have emerged as clear favourites to land Tranmere's out of contract striker
Gary Jones following earlier reports declaring their interest in him.
The 25 year old Tranmere striker
is looking for a move after seven years at Prenton Park and Platt seems to
have beaten off a challenge from First Division rivals Barnsley and Burnley.
Linked To Tranmere Striker: Forest
are being linked with a move for Tranmere Rovers striker Gary Jones. The 25
year old, who helped Tranmere reach the Worthington Cup final and FA Cup quarter
finals last season, is available on a free transfer this summer under the
Platt is planning to hold transfer
talks with him as soon he returns from holiday. Platt said:: "Gary is an exciting
young player who I'm sure would prove to be an excellent acquisition for us.
"He can play either up front
or in midfield and, more importantly, he can score goals.
"We are considering making him
an offer but he's currently away on holiday. A few other clubs are interested
in him but I would think that we are the best proposition. "I'm quite confident
that we can seal the move in the next few weeks."
On The Bench: It looks
like Mark Crossley is to miss out again tonight as Wales take on Portugal
tonight. The smart money is on Crossley starting on the bench as number 2
to Swansea's Roger Freestone.
Though Crossley is no longer
a Forest player, Forest will be represented in tonight's game in Portugal
by Andy Johnson - who looks to have missed out on a possible summer move to
Leicester City after Martin O'Neill finally moved to Celtic. Mind you, I suppose
there is no reason why O'Neill can't pursue his interest in Johnson from North
of the border.
Games: Forest are rumoured
to be close to sorting out their pre-season fixture list and an announcement
is due any time now. Forest have only one game definitely arranged, against
Leeds United at the City Ground on July 29. Though it is understood they are
looking to arrange fixtures in Trinidad and America - Florida being the current
More news on the pre-season fixtures
when they are announced.
Move Doubtful: As we
surmised earlier, the possibility that Chris Hope would return to Forest looked
like it was paper speculation during a quiet period in news from the Forest
Camp. Indeed this has turned out to be the case and the speculation was based
on the fact that David Platt had travelled to Scunthorpe at the end of last
season. There has been no news on whether or not Platt will be pursuing his
interest in any Scunthorpe player at this time.