Martin O’Neill is in the market for a right-back, with Nottingham Forest only having Tendayi Darikwa to choose from in the squad. The Reds have been linked with Tom Lockyer of Bristol Rovers and Sam Byram of West Ham United this summer, but O’Neill may have a chance to sign a decent Premier League player to bolster his backline – James Bree of Aston Villa.
The 21-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Villa Park, spending last season on loan at Ipswich Town, so he could be available. Bree joined Villa from Barnsley in 2017 and has gone on to make 28 appearances in all competitions. The £23k-per-week defender could find himself behind Frederic Guilbert and Ahmed Elmohamady next season, so another loan move might be an option.
Bree was a regular at Ipswich last season, making one assist, creating 11 chances, averaging 38 passes with 75% accuracy and winning 33 aerial duels (65%). He boasted a 75% dribble success rate, whipped in 46 crosses with 26% accuracy, blocked 21 shots/passes/crosses, made 20 clearances and averaged a tackle (27) or interception (22) every 24 minutes.
Whether Forest do make an approach for the Villa defender remains to be seen, however.