Nottingham Forest manager Dougie Freedman knows who the club will be facing on the first day of next season as he looks for ways to improve his squad over the next couple of months.
The Scot will have the chance to experiment with some younger players in pre-season, but there is a need for him to inject a little bit of Championship experience in key areas to give the club a stronger chance of being consistent when the whistle blows for that game against Brighton on August 8.
Freedman faces a challenge because of the restrictions which hang over the club because of the transfer embargo, which is currently in place.
The Nottingham Post has pointed out, in a piece discussing the club’s apparent interest in Matt Mills, that the club can only pay wages of around £10,000 per week due to financial restrictions.
That restriction could be a reason that Mills and another player the Nottingham Post has linked the club with, Jamie Ward, haven’t already committed to deals to move to the City Ground.
In short, Forest’s manager is going to need to work his socks off throughout the summer to persuade transfer targets that Nottingham Forest is the best place for them to be playing their football.
The boss can’t do anything about players holding out to see if they get better wage offers from other teams, but he can sell the club which is something he’s done successfully in the recent past.
Freedman was a key figure in the loan deal which saw Chuba Akpom move to the club from Arsenal, when he could have taken another move to one of the club’s Championship rivals.
If Akpom hadn’t picked up an injury problem, it could have turned out to be an extremely successful move for the player and the club.
However, what it underlined is that Freedman can put across his passion as the club’s manager which will be important when it comes down to the nitty-gritty negotiation process, which is unavoidable.