Nottinghamshire Live reporter Sarah Clapson has stated in a goalkeeper shouldn’t be a priority for Nottingham Forest this summer – though it is unknown how the recent shock announcement that Brice Samba may leave the City Ground will affect their plans.
Current No 1 Brice Samba was the play-off hero as Forest reached the final at Wembley after he saved three Sheffield United penalties and the Congolese shot-stopper conceded an average of just 0.88 goals per game this season – but it has since come to light that he is intent on leaving the City Ground before the start of the new campaign.
Clapson was speaking on the Garibaldi Red podcast following rumours linking the newly promoted club with a move for Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope prior to Samba’s bombshell.
The two clubs will be trading places come the new campaign, and The Sun has reported that Forest will chance their arm at landing the England international.
However, the Clarets are said to be seeking £40m, but a compromise sum could be arranged, with sources close to the 30-year-old believing they can seal an exit for just £10m.
Clapson said: “I saw quite a few people responding to that [Pope] rumour and you can’t dismiss something when you’re linked with an England goalkeeper, but for me, I think there’s other priorities.
“I think there’s other areas that need strengthening more and would need more money spent than the goalkeeper position.”
Where do Forest need strengthening more?
TIF Thoughts on Forest’s transfers…
Like many, Clapson may not have been expecting Samba to inform the club that he won’t be signing a new contract, so perhaps she will be changing her stance.
David Ornstein confirmed that the 28-year-old has told Forest that he intends to leave this summer after his latest contract offer was deemed “unacceptable”, with his current deal up at the end of next season.
Club owner Evangelos Marinakis has vowed to give manager Steve Cooper the “ammunition” he needs to keep the City Ground outfit in the top flight next season, and perhaps his main focus will be at the other end of the pitch with the team hoping to carry a guarantee of goals.
Should Pope be signed at all costs?
However, if a more reasonable price of around £20m could be agreed for Pope – who only has one year left on his current deal – perhaps Forest should pursue a transfer.
He was responsible for the joint fourth-highest amount of saves in the league this past season with 121, and with 47 clean sheets in 141 Premier League matches, Cooper would be assured of a safe and experienced pair of hands between the sticks.