Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi wants Ben Osborn to remain despite interest from Sheffield United.
Nottinghamshire Live reports that the Blades will step up their pursuit of Osborn this week. This is after having an initial £3m offer rejected.
Osborn himself is keen on exploring the deal as the chance to test himself in the Premier League understandably appeals. It is why the 24-year-old is unwilling to discuss a new contract at the City Ground at present.
Osborn’s current deal expires at the end of next season. Forest are therefore reluctantly willing to discuss a transfer, rather than risk losing him for free in less than 12 months’ time.
The final thing that remains is for the fee to be negotiated. Although Lamouchi is still hopeful of keeping hold of Osborn.
“I heard about Sheffield’s interest, but I cannot complain about his attitude,” the Frenchman told Nottinghamshire Live.
“I am happy with him. Of course I would like to see him stay.”
Why the Blades want Ben Osborn
The versatile Reds academy product is appealing to Chris Wilder because of his ability to play at wing-back and in midfield.
Wilder is seeking competition for Enda Stevens on the left side of defence. This is after releasing Danny Lafferty, while Marvin Johnson has returned to Middlesbrough following his loan spell.
Osborn spent much of last term playing either at left-back or further forwards on the flank. Which is why he could be perfectly suited to a wing-back role.
Not only that, but Osborn can also operate in central midfield if required. This would prove useful as Wilder has limited options in the middle of the park.
John Fleck and Oliver Norwood are expected to start the new campaign there, with John Lundstram as the only natural backup. New signings Luke Freeman and Ravel Morrison can drop deeper, but are more comfortable in the number ten position.