Mark Warburton manager of Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest survived by the skin of their teeth in the 2016/17 Championship campaign, only goal-difference sending Blackburn Rovers into League One while simultaneously securing Mark Warburton’s side another season in the second tier.
However, without the exceptional performances of veteran duo David Vaughan and Chris Cohen in central midfield, it might have been the City Ground rather than Ewood Park preparing to host Oldham Athletic, Fleetwood Town and Rochdale next season.
Cohen and Vaughan were rewarded for their inspirational displays with new contracts at the end of the campaign. Yet, with a combined age of 64, it is clear that the evergreen duo cannot last forever.
Therefore, it made perfect sense for Forest to enquire about Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald. According to HITC sources, the Scottish midfielder had caught Forest’s eye after a superb campaign at the base of The Cottagers midfield.
Featuring in all but one Championship fixture as Fulham reached the play-offs, McDonald was the glue that held together the league’s most exhilarating attacking side.
Fulham's Kevin McDonald
Therefore, with Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon attracting admiring glances from higher up the footballing hierarchy, it’s little wonder Fulham have made retaining McDonald a must.
According to The Sun, Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have slapped a £7 million price tag on the 27-year-old - £4 million more than Forest were prepared to pay.
Such a fee would make McDonald the club’s all-time record transfer, and the threat of Financial Fair Play restrictions basically brings a halt to their hopes.
Therefore, you wonder whether this is why The Sun claims Forest have turned their attention towards Barnsley’s Josh Scowen. Like McDonald, the 24-year-old was a consistent and tenacious presence in front of the back four last season.
Barnsley's Josh Scowen
However, unlike McDonald, Scowen is most certainly affordable. His contract at Barnsley expires at the end of the month, meaning he will be available on a free.
Consequently, it appears that he, rather than his Fulham-based counterpart, will reduce the average age of Forest’s midfield next season.