Former Forest striker hopes they win their battle to sign Hunt

Garry Birtles hopes that Nottingham Forest are able to sign Jack Hunt from Crystal Palace in January.

Former striker Garry Birtles says that he hopes Nottingham Forest win their battle to sign Jack Hunt.

The defender has been on-loan at Forest from Crystal Palace and impressed all watchers with a series of stand-out performances.

It has led to Forest attempting to make his transfer a permanent one, but the level of his displays have pushed his price-up and Steve Parish, co-chairman of Palace, admitted yesterday that a deal may be off the cards.

It is a battle which is set to rumble on for some time yet, though, and Birtles revealed today it is one he hopes that the Reds win.

"It's a shame to hear Forest will have to pay almost double the price for Jack Hunt if they want to sign him permanently from Premier League Crystal Palace – but not a surprise," he wrote in the Nottingham Post. 

"I saw him in the game against Sheffield Wednesday and he hardly put a foot wrong, getting stuck in as Forest kept a clean sheet and bombing forward to help them attack in the 1-0 win at Hillsborough.

"The Reds will almost certainly have to battle it out with other Championship clubs for his signature and I hope they win it because he's a quality player."

Palace are thought to be intent on keeping hold of Hunt after seeing his performances in the second-tier.

Forest, though, want to keep the full-back as he has had such a pivotal part in their success so far this season.

Hunt has been a mainstay in a resolute Forest defence, which has been one of the major reasons behind their unbeaten record so far.

It has elevated them into promotion contention and Hunt will be reluctant to leave in January, when his loan deal expires, unless he is promised first-team football at his parent club.

Until then the former Huddersfield Town man will hope to continue catching the eye, and his first chance to get away from the speculation off the pitch around his future will be on Saturday when Stuart Pearce's side face Cardiff City. 

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