Nottingham Forest beat top-tier club in scrap to sign ace tipped for superstardom - report
By Harry Sykes
Nottingham Forest have won the race to sign Reece Oxford from West Ham, according to a report.
The Mirror claim the Championship club have seen off competition from Rangers and Brentford to land the teenage sensation, who has been hailed as the next Rio Ferdinand.
It is said that Oxford is set to join Forest on loan for the remainder of the season and that the deal will be pushed through before Tuesday night’s transfer cut-off.
This is regarded as something as a coup for Forest, who are without a permanent manager and suffered the snub of losing out on Nigel Clough on Monday evening.
The reported transfer success comes after Sky Sports reported on their website last week that Scottish Premiership outfit Rangers were in advanced talks with the Premier League club to sign Oxford.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
He is fit again after two months out with an ankle injury and it appears that West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has given the green light for him to go out on loan for first-team experience.
The 18-year-old, who can play in central midfield or at centre-back, is on the fringes of the West Ham side and has been an unused substitute in their last three matches but he is yet to see any league action this season.
Oxford is highly rated by West Ham, who recently ended speculation about the teenager’s long-term future by handing him a four-and-a-half-year contract that runs until the summer of 2021.
Bilic has previously stated his belief that Oxford will go on to become a world-beater and it was widely reported that Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal were among the big hitters that kept close tabs him before he penned a new deal in December.
“On paper he has all the abilities to become a world-class player and it is now up to him to train hard and for us to manage him well for him to fulfil it,” said Bilic.
Oxford was the second youngest player to start a Premier League match, and the youngest in West Ham’s history, when he made his competitive debut against Arsenal, aged 16, at the start of last season.
In total, he has made 16 appearances for the east London club, with 14 of them coming in 2015-16.
Forest are locked in a relegation battle following a string of poor results and are placed 19th in the Championship table, just five points ahead of the drop zone.
Football Insider verdict:
It is a genuine coup for Forest to have landed Oxford. West Ham have high hopes for the youngster and Bilic has even gone public with his belief that he will develop into a superstar. It is little wonder clubs are falling over themselves to take the teen ace for the remainder of the season, and Forest appear to have an agreement in place. It promises to be a quick learning curve for Oxford as he prepare to be pitched into a relegation battle as the former European Cup winners aim to avoid plummeting into the third tier.
In other Nottingham Forest transfer news, the club have lined up a stunning late January triple swoop.