Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall has been linked with a move to West Ham.
The Hammers are long-term suitors of the 25-year-old. Reports leading up to this summer have suggested that West Ham are finally about to make their move for Worrall, who could cost them upwards of £15million.
But in a bid to soften that transfer value, David Moyes could send Emmanuel Longelo the oppisite way – Forest tried to sign the left-back in January but failed.
So what might Nottingham Forest’s starting XI look like if this transfer deal goes through?
If Worrall leaves Forest this summer then it’ll certainly leave a void in Cooper’s defence. The Englishman is a huge player for the Reds who look as though they need to secure promotion to the Premier League to keep Worrall at the club beyond this season.
Longelo though could solve a lot of problems at the City Ground. Cooper has struggled with the left-back berth all season, with first-choice Max Lowe having been in and out of the physio’s room this season.
Gaetan Bong is Cooper’s only other recognised left-back, with Jack Colback having filled in that position during Lowe’s earlier injury.
Longelo then would no doubt make that left-back spot his own going into next season should he join Forest, with Bong set to be released and Lowe returning to parent club Sheffield United.
In the middle, Scott McKenna and Steve Cook have both cemented their place in the starting line-up with Worrall playing on the right of three central defenders, with two attacking wing-backs either side.
January arrival Jonathan Panzo is yet to make a matchday squad for Forest but could come into contention next time round should Worrall depart.
Cooper though will likely want a more experienced name to fill the void – Tobias Figueiredo is out of contract in the summer and seems unlikely to extend his stay, with Loic Mbe Soh having been injury-hit throughout this season.
So Cooper may yet have to dip into the transfer market to find a direct replacement for Worrall, and with both wing-backs in Lowe and Djed Spence set to return to their respective parent clubs in the summer, Forest’s entire starting XI could look a lot different next season.