Five potential World Cup stars who are perfect for Nottingham Forest

Aitor Karanka, Manager of Middlesbrough smiles during the EFL Cup second round match between Fulham and Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage on August 24, 2016 in London, England.

Nottingham Forest need some quality additions if they are to challenge for Championship promotion next season.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka celebrates following the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Riverside Stadium on May 7, 2016 in...

Aitor Karanka has targeted promotion with Nottingham Forest next season. But, to turn that dream into a reality, he needs to enhance a squad that will see a large number of players depart this summer.

But with the World Cup highlighting bargains aplenty across the continent, Forest should look to Russia for a bargain buy and maybe even the odd marquee signing.

Frederik Ronnow

We start with a man unlikely to feature much in Russia. Ronnow is distinctly second choice behind Kasper Schmeichel between the sticks for Denmark, but this is precisely why the Brondby shot-stopper should be eyeing a move away from his homeland this summer.

Frederik Ronnow of Esbjerg fB in action during the UEFA Europe League group stage match between Esbjerg fB and FC Salzburg held on October 3, 2013 at the Sport og Event Park Esbjerg, in...

According to the Nottingham Post, Forest made a number of bids for Ronnow last August although he did not see the benefit of moving to England’s second tier. But, no matter how well he plays for Brondby, the 25-year-old needs a bigger audience for his talents to be truly appreciated.

With a permanent deal for Costel Pantilimon up in the air, Forest should not be so quick to forget about Ronnow.

Martin Olsson

Ben Osborn is famed for his versatility but the Forest academy graduate is no left-back. And the fact he was forced to fill in in defence highlights his club’s failure to adequately reinforce the position while letting Dani Pinillos and Armand Traore leave.

Swedish flyer Olsson, however, has proved himself at Championship level with Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers and was one of Swansea City’s better performers as they were relegated from the Premier League last season.

Attack-minded and still lightning quick at 30, Olsson would add some much needed creativity for a goal-shy side.

Massimo Luongo

If Australia are to progress from a group containing Denmark, France and Peru, they will be hoping that the midfield triumvirate of Massimo Luongo, Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy turn up and strut their stuff.

Massimo Luongo of Australia takes on the Colombia team during the International friendly between Australia and Colombia at Craven Cottage on March 27, 2018 in London, England.

Luongo, a hero down under for his crucial role in the 2015 Asian Cup win, has just enjoyed arguably the best individual season of his career at Queens Park Rangers, adding goals to his game while once again displaying that penetrative passing ability.

Forest were keen last summer, according to the Times, and Luongo would be a perfect replacement for either Chris Cohen or David Vaughan.

Birkir Bjarnason

A star for Iceland but a squad player for Aston Villa, Bjarnason has had his moments without ever shining consistently since moving to the Midlands from FC Basel in January 2017.

But with Villa needing to raise £40 million to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions, they have to sell a number of players this summer.

And Forest could do worse than enquire about an adaptable, energetic and hard-working midfielder who would give Aitor Karanka a number of options either in the centre or on the flanks.

Aleksandar Prijovic

Aleksandar Prijovic of Serbia in action during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Serbia and Georgia at stadium Rajko Mitic on October 9, 2017 in Belgrade.

Serbian powerhouse Prijovic will head to the World Cup firmly behind Aleksandar Mitrovic in his country’s pecking order. But the 28-year-old will surely have a part to play, given that he netted 25 goals in 38 games for Greek outfit PAOK last season.

Prijovic was linked with a number of Championship sides last year, including Leeds United, but Forest need a goal-scorer more than most.

No one hit double figures in the league last season for Forest and Prijovic would be an immediate upgrade on the ageing Daryl Murphy.

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