With the 2020/21 Championship campaign reaching it's crescendo, Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton will already be looking to make plans for the upcoming transfer window.
Having witnessed his side struggle in terms of creativity in the second-tier in recent months, it wouldn't be at all surprising if the 62-year-old addresses this particular issue this summer.
Whilst Hughton will be aiming to bolster his squad, he may also need to resolve the future of Forest's club-record signing Joao Carvalho.
Since joining the Reds in 2018 for a reported fee of £13.2m, the midfielder has yet to justify the money spent on him as he has lacked consistency at Championship level.
After falling out of favour with former manager Sabri Lamouchi last season, Carvalho was loaned out to Almeria last summer and has since gone on to make 29 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Making reference to the 24-year-old's future, AS journalist Nico Garcia has revealed that Almeria will opt against exercising the option to purchase him if he continues to deliver underwhelming performances in the Segunda Division.
A drop-off in form in recent weeks has resulted in Carvalho being used primarily as a substitute by manager Jose Manuel Gomes.
Speaking to the Nottingham Post about the midfielder, Garcia said: "If Carvalho does not improve the level of him shown in recent weeks, Almeria will not exercise the purchase option.
"If he shows the level that he did in December and January, they may be looking to reach a new agreement, perhaps another transfer, as happened with Fran Villalba."
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Carvalho is a player who divides Forest's fan-base as despite his undoubted talent, he hasn't been able to make necessary strides in terms of his development since moving to the City Ground.
The midfielder's latest blip in form at Almeria is hardly a surprise when you consider how erratic his form was during the past two seasons with the Reds.
Whilst he has illustrated a capability of providing an abundance of creativity when performing at his very best via his direct involvement in 14 goals at Championship level, there has also been plenty of games in which Carvalho has ultimately failed to deliver.
Given that Almeria are seemingly illustrating a reluctance to commit to a permanent deal for the former Benfica man, it will be intriguing to see whether Hughton opts to give him a second-chance if he returns to the club this summer.
Having nurtured the talents of Alex Mighten and James Garner in recent months, there is no reason why the Forest boss cannot have a positive impact on Carvalho.News Now - Sport News