Aitor Karanka says he holds no ill-feeling towards Alan Hutton after missing out on his signature over the summer. Nottingham Forest tried to bring the Aston Villa defender to the City Ground ahead of the 2018/19 season but failed in their pursuit. Despite having spent time on loan at Forest in the past, Hutton opted to remain with Villa and the Reds were forced to turn their attentions elsewhere.
Forest signed Sam Byram on loan from West Ham United and Saidy Janko on loan from FC Porto to bolster their options at right-back. Karanka says he’s happy with the players that Forest signed over the summer and has no regrets over how their transfer business went. Tendayi Darikwa has been a regular this season, but Janko has been given opportunities to impress. Byram has struggled with injury, however.
Karanka said to Nottingham Live about Hutton: “He was a player we were interested in. But he decided to stay at Aston Villa and we brought in other players. In the end, I was really pleased because I got the players I wanted to have. He had his reasons to want to stay there, I am sure, and I respect that, because he is a good player and a good character.
“I wish him all the best, after Wednesday night. I will not criticise him, because you never know what is happening behind the scenes. It might have been because his family was settled there, there could have been any reasons. I am not going to change my opinion about him as a player.”
Hutton signed a new deal with Villa over the summer and has played in every Championship game for the club this season. He’s spent seven years at Villa Park and has long held an affinity to the club so it would be hard to lure him away. The Scottish international made seven appearances during a 2012-loan spell at Forest, but his mind was made up.