Championship outfit Nottingham Forest have been linked with a move for Burnley’s Premier League defender Kevin Long.

Roy Keane does not often dole out praise.

So Kevin Long must have done something rather special to win over the former Manchester United captain back in May 2017.

Speaking to the Irish Times after the Burnley defender was called up for the Republic of Ireland national team, Keane was oddly effusive about a player who has been in-and-around the Clarets’ first team for years while never really making his breakthrough.

“He’s been in the background at Burnley for quite a while. I know one or two of the staff members there and they speak highly of him,” Keane said.

“Burnley turned down plenty of offers for him to go out on loan in the Championship and he’s got his chance in the Premier League recently and done well. I’ve seen him a couple of times. He’s a good strong boy.”

According to the Sun (4 August, page 67), Nottingham Forest could make a move to bring Long to the City Ground before the transfer window slams shut at 5:00pm, Thursday.

And you would imagine that Keane, who was Forest’s assistant coach until Martin O’Neill’s sacking over the summer, would give the move his seal of approval.

At the age of 28, Long has made just 24 Premier League starts in Burnley colours and he doesn’t look any closer to establishing himself in Sean Dyche’s starting XI despite suggestions that James Tarkowski could leave to fill a Harry Maguire-shaped void at Leicester City.

It is about time Long was given the chance to prove his worth week in, week out.

In other news, ‘I’m ambitious’: 25-goal striker doesn’t regret missing out on £27m Tottenham move