Following a puzzling pursuit of pundits which saw both Neil Warnock and Stuart Pearce reject the Reds, and Glenn Hoddle reportedly linked, Al Hasawi’s attentions have now seemingly turned down another potential dead end as he seeks a replacement for Billy Davies.
Clarke is still on gardening leave after being sacked by West Brom while Mackay could face a court case with Cardiff owner Vincent Tan following the manner of his dismissal from the Welsh club. Meanwhile, Zola is not thought to be interested in a return to management until the summer.
Maybe John McGovern, the former European Cup-winning captain of Forest and recently-appointed club ambassador who is assisting Al Hasawi in his search, should give the Kuwaiti businessman a gentle nudge in a different direction.
Earlier this week a new manager with a Forest `connection` was what Al Hasawi said he wanted. Perhaps he should look no further than Sean Dyche.
Dyche came through the youth ranks at the City Ground while Brian Clough was in charge. Admittedly he had to move a handful of junctions north on the M1 to Chesterfield to find first-team football.
But the 42-year-old could see his Burnley team, no-one’s pick for promotion back in August, go top of the Championship table on Saturday if they beat current leaders Leicester by two clear goals at Turf Moor.
And it has not escaped the attention of Forest fans how well Nigel Clough is doing since taking over at Sheffield United.
The former Reds striker has taken the Blades from the threat of relegation to harbouring hopes of the play-offs in League One on the back of a recent 10-game winning streak.
Amongst some Forest fans the ex-Derby boss was even mentioned as part of a managerial ‘dream team’ alongside Pearce.
Finally, consider Uwe Rösler. The German cut his teeth at Brentford and would have won a league title had it not been for unprecedented drama in the final seconds of last season
He left the Bees firmly in the automatic promotion mix again when departing in December for Wigan, where such a startling transformation in such a short space of time has led him to be linked with the Eintracht Frankfurt job this summer.
While Forest fans may not feel that Dyche, Clough and Rosler are as attractive a prospect as Clarke, Mackay or Zola, the truth of the matter is that they are equally as unattainable - just for different reasons.
Dyche looks certain to be managing in the Premier League next season and the same may be said of Rosler if Wigan can secure a play-off spot. Failing that, Rosler’s exploits in England have drawn him to the attention of Bundesliga clubs back in his homeland, and currently has an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to.
Meanwhile, Clough is far too loyal to turn his back on the club that gave him the chance to pick himself up so quickly following his Derby departure.
The ‘big name’ is not always the right name and Al Hasawi might want to be reminded of Alex McLeish and Davies as he weighs up his next move.