Date: 7th July 2019 at 8:00am
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Nottingham Forest wanted to re-sign Sam Byram on loan after his impressive form at the end of last season, but it appears the Reds are finally giving up the pursuit and are turning their attention elsewhere. The £30k-per-week West Ham man looks set to join West Bromwich Albion this summer and Forest have identified a replacement in Mehdi Zeffane.

The 27-year-old is available on a free transfer after being released from Stade Rennais. Zeffane made 66 appearances in all competitions for Rennes after his 2015-move from Olympique Lyonnais.

He made 20 Ligue 1 appearances last season, scoring one goal, creating 11 chances, winning 17 aerial duels (46%), and averaging 31 passes-per-game with 83% accuracy. Zeffane has blocked 16 shots/passes/crosses, made 33 clearances and averaged a tackle (19) or interception (18) every 33 minutes.

The Algerian international won’t be on his way to the City Ground just yet, however. Norwich City, Fiorentina and Espanyol are among the clubs interested in the right-back which could hamper Forest’s chances of landing his signature this summer. Time will tell if the Reds can land their man.

Tendayi Darikwa was Forest’s first-choice in defence, but a new face could lead to a change ahead of the new season.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article

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