COMMENT By Richard Parks
Talk about going in feet first.
Aitor Karanka was renowned for his ruthless streak at Middlesbrough and that has now resurfaced as his mass planned overhaul gets underway.
As revealed by Football Insider, Nottingham Forest are ready to axe a host of senior first-team stars in a major cull of the team that finished 17th in this season’s Championship.
Well-placed sources have said that up to as many as nine players have been told by Forest boss Aitor Karanka that they do not figure in his plans going forward, with Michael Mancienne, Barrie McKay, Liam Bridcutt, Stefanos Kapino, Daryl Murphy and Apostolos Vellios among those who have been informed they can move on.
Karanka is looking to make room in his squad for new additions and he is prepared to let go a number of his top earners to raise funds for his transfer plans.
The word is that a proven centre-forward is the manager’s A1 transfer priority, with Peterborough’s Jack Marriott strongly linked, and they cost big bucks.
By offloading so many senior players and mainstays of the club’s 2017-18 campaign, Karanka will certainly raise significant funds, but it is clear he is taking a huge risk.
Indeed, it is inexplicable as to why proven centre-back Mancinne, technically gifted attacking midfielder McKay and striker Murphy are on the hit list.
All three have performed well at times this season, and could be even more effective in 2018-19 after a pre-season under the Spaniard.
But the manager has one promotion at Boro under his belt, and has shown in the past he does not shy away from big decisions.
He will do it his way, and will live or die by those decisions.
In other Nottingham Forest news, this £1million Reds player will surely be on the move in the summer.