After struggling for consistency last season, Nottingham Forest will be hoping to make a bright start to the 2021/22 campaign in the Championship later this year.
However, in order to have the best chance of achieving a relative amount of success in the second-tier, it is imperative that the Reds get their recruitment spot on between now and August.
With the transfer window set to open on Wednesday, Forest manager Chris Hughton has already been linked with potential swoops for a number of different players.
Having decided to part ways with seven senior members of his squad last week, the 62-year-old is now eyeing up a move for an individual who has excelled at Championship level during his career.
According to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, Forest are reportedly interested in signing Sam Clucas on a free transfer this summer.
Since joining the Potters in 2018, Clucas has featured regularly for the club in the second-tier.
Any potential suitor may be able to avoid paying a fee for Clucas who could be allowed to leave for free as Stoke aim to reduce their wage bill in the coming months.
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If Forest are indeed interested in signing Clucas, it will be intriguing to see whether Hughton can convince him to swap the Bet365 Stadium for the City Ground.
Whilst it is abundantly clear that the Reds need to bolster their options in the heart of midfield following the departures of Filip Krovinovic, Samba Sow and James Garner, a swoop for Clucas would be somewhat of a risk.
After setting the Championship alight with his displays during the 2019/20 campaign in which he provided 15 direct goal contributions in 44 appearances, the former Swansea City man has recently struggled for fitness and thus there is no guarantee that he will be able to avoid suffering any further setbacks in the future.
If Clucas can avoid injury, he will unquestionably add some experience to Forest's midfield as he has made141 appearances at this level and has also illustrated that he is more than capable of competing in the second-tier by averaging WhoScored match ratings of 6.81 and 7.04 in each of the last two seasons.
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