This just seems like a story that isn’t going to go away until it’s over, and that may be a while yet.
After an impressive season in the Championship, putting up 12 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, Joe Lolley was always going to attract attention from Premier League sides, and newly promoted Aston Villa are at the top of that list. However, Forest aren’t going to let their Player of the Year leave that easily, it seems.
With Lolley contributing to over a third of Forest’s goals last season, they’ll be certain to keep playing hardball to make sure they can at least get an adequate replacement should he depart.
On the other side of the coin, with Tammy Abraham still unsure about where his future lies, Villa will need to come up with someone who was just as effective as the Chelsea loanee at Villa Park, when his goals and assists made up 38% of Villa’s goal tally last term.
However, given Lolley’s previous Premier League form, getting only one goal in six appearances for Huddersfield back in 2017/18, they’re going to need more than just one player to replace Abraham.
You do wonder, though, just how long Nottingham Forest can afford to hold out for. With this being O’Neill’s first full transfer window in charge, he’ll want all the necessary funds to get his squad closer to the playoffs this time around and £15m can go a long way in the Championship.
To add to that, Joe Lolley is a boyhood Aston Villa fan and you wonder if push comes to shove, he could end up having to force his way to make a move happen.