Sky Bet Championship newcomers Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers are both interested in signing Nottingham Forest midfielder Ben Osborn.

According to Nottinghamshire Live, the 23-year-old is a key target of new Stoke manager and former Derby County boss, Gary Rowett.

In January, Rowett’s former side Derby showed late interest in signing the midfielder from their East Midlands rivals Forest but a deal was not agreed.

With Rowett departing to Stoke, who are more likely to have disposable funds than his former side did, the 44-year-old appears to have reignited his interest in the versatile midfielder.

Last season’s Sky Bet League One winners Blackburn have also emerged as contenders to sign Osborn, with their manager Tony Mowbray likely to be financially backed next season to keep Rovers afloat in the second tier of English football.

Since making his debut for the Tricky Trees in March 2014 during a 1-1 draw against Ipswich Town, Osborn has become an integral part of Forest’s team, making 186 appearances during the past four years.

The midfielder has played for Forest in a variety of positions; Osborn has commonly featured on either the left side or the centre of midfield, but he has also played at left back, right midfield and as an attacking midfielder.

His versatility and consistency has seen him feature in all of Forest’s league matches during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. He has featured in all of Forest’s last 121 Championship fixtures, dating back to November 2015, with 115 league starts and six appearances as a substitute in that time.

During his time at the City Ground, Osborn has scored 14 goals and has provided 25 assists for the two-time European Cup winners in all competitions.

Osborn has also featured five times for England’s youth sides, having represented the Three Lions at under-18, 19 and 20 levels.

Transfermarkt current value Osborn at £3 million and as he still has two years left on his contract, Stoke and Blackburn are likely to have to offer north of that valuation to secure his signature.


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