Nottingham Forest are desperate to re-sign Jack Colback this summer after last season’s impressive loan spell at the City Ground, but the Reds have made little progress in procuring his signature.
Colback’s future at Newcastle was uncertain while Rafael Benitez was in charge, but the Spanish manager has since been replaced by Steve Bruce which could result in the 29-year-old staying at St James’ Park – he’s played under Bruce in the past, making 26 appearances for Sunderland (2009-2012).
Colback said to Chronicle Live: “I’m big enough to take (the fallout with Rafael Benitez) on the chin. There are a lot better players than me left out of squads. I went to Forest and really enjoyed my time there. Now maybe I’ve got half a chance back here, so we’ll see what happens.”
It’s bad news for Forest as they’ve been on the hunt for a ball-winning midfielder who can break up play and retain possession. Alfa Semedo was brought in on loan from Benfica in Colback’s stead, but whether he can fill the shoes of the Englishman remains to be seen.
Colback was a standout performer in 2018/19 and nearly led the side to the Championship playoffs, but it looks unlikely that he’ll return to the East Midlands. Despite having one year remaining on his deal and not featuring for the Magpies since May 2017, a summer exodus could lead to his reprieve at Newcastle.
Mohamed Diame was released this summer and Isaac Hayden is keen to move closer to his family in Wales. Forest aren’t exactly short of options in the engine room with Alfa Semedo, Claudio Yacob, Tiago Silva, Ben Watson, Ryan Yates and Adlene Guedioura to choose from, but it’s a blow to lose out on Colback.