Well this came out of the blue. Slavisa Jokanovic, Carlos Carvalhal and Paulo Sousa appeared to be the front-runners to take over at Nottingham Forest but, in a surprise twist, it seems Martin O’Neill is now on the verge of an emotional return to the City Ground.
The 66-year-old is a legend in the East Midlands, having played a major role as Forest won the European Cup in 1979 and 1980 under Brian Clough.
And, according to the Guardian, O’Neill will now be hoping to follow in Clough’s footsteps, with Nottingham Forest confident of securing a deal that would see the Irishman take over from Aitor Karanka with immediate effect.
The report adds that owner Evangelos Marinakis was ‘blown away’ by O’Neill’s energy and drive to succeed at the club where he made his name. And it seems that Marinakis is keen to back his new manager in the transfer market, with a dream return to the Premier League on the line.
It is understood that the Greek businessman will make ‘significant transfer funds’ available, giving O’Neill the chance to put his stamp on a side made up of experienced Championship campaigners and technically gifted imports.
O’Neill might have left his job at the Republic of Ireland under a cloud but a stellar record at club level, including huge successes with Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa, cannot be questioned.