West Ham United confirmed on Monday that Pablo Zabaleta extended his contract to 2020 which could mean Sam Byram is allowed to leave this summer. It’s potentially good news for Nottingham Forest as the Midlands outfit are desperate to re-sign the 25-year-old for next season.
Byram’s stint on loan at the City Ground was hampered by a serious knee injury, but he’s impressed after making a complete recovery. The right-back has made only seven appearances in all competitions for Forest, having spent six months on the treatment table, but is open to another year in the East Midlands.
Tendayi Darikwa and Saidy Janko have deputised in his absence, but Byram won his place back in the starting lineup after returning to fitness. He’d be a regular in the defence next season if Forest can bring him back, so they’ll be delighted that West Ham are focusing on Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks.
Another loan move might suit all parties. Zabaleta is in the twilight of his career and will need replacing when he eventually hangs up his boots, while Byram might feel he could have a long-term future at West Ham if he impresses at Forest.
If Martin O’Neill wants the Englishman on a permanent deal, however, it might cost Forest £5m and £1.6m-a-year in wages.