EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
New Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill is lining up a move to sign Stoke City winger James McClean, Football Insider understands.
O’Neill, who replaced Aitor Karanka as Forest’s new manager, is keen to bring in some new faces during this month’s transfer window and he is a big fan of McClean.
McClean was a regular in the Republic of Ireland side during O’Neill’s tenure in charge of the country and McClean arguably played some of his best football under O’Neill for the Republic.
A well-placed source has told Football Insider that McClean would jump at the chance to work with O’Neill again if Forest can agree a deal with Stoke.
McClean joined Stoke last summer from West Bromwich Albion having been signed by then manager Gary Rowett and he has scored one goal and provided six assists in 26 games in all competitions.
The 29-year-old was a regular in the side under Rowett, but since the arrival of new boss Nathan Jones McClean has started the last two games on the bench, making late cameo’s in the defeats to Brentford and Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.
Jones could consider cashing in on McClean this month so that he can fund his own transfer plans at Stoke and Forest are ready to firm up their interest in the attacker.
In other Nottingham Forest transfer news, Football Insider can reveal the club are in the hunt to sign a midfielder who quit Premier League club last Friday.