With the Championship campaign set to kick-off later this week, it will be fascinating to see whether Nottingham Forest are able to make a positive start to the year under the guidance of manager Chris Hughton.
As a result of the club's woeful form during the opening weeks of the previous campaign, Hughton was drafted in as a replacement for Sabri Lamouchi who was given his marching orders by the Reds.
Although the 62-year-old was able to guide Forest to safety in the second-tier, the club's lack of consistency ultimately hindered their progress as they were forced to settle for a 17th place finish in the standings.
Keen to learn from the errors which led to a number of underwhelming displays by his side earlier this year, Hughton would have been hoping to make a brisk start to his transfer activity this summer.
However, ahead of Forest's clash with Coventry City on Sunday, the Championship outfit have only managed to make one signing with Ethan Horvath sealing a move to the City Ground last month.
With the window set to close at the end of August, Hughton could be about to launch a potential swoop for a player who featured regularly at this level last season.
According to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, Forest are reportedly interested in signing Reading midfielder Josh Laurent.
The 26-year-old managed to illustrate some real signs of promise in the Championship for the Royals during the previous campaign as he started 45 of their 46 league games.
Considering that Laurent's current deal is set to expire next year, this particular transfer window represents the final chance that Reading will get to secure a respectable fee for him.
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If Forest are indeed interested in sealing a deal for Laurent, this could turn out to be somewhat of a coup by Hughton as the midfielder clearly possesses the talent needed to succeed at this level.
As well as averaging a relatively impressive WhoScored match rating of 6.88 in the Championship, the midfielder also ranked in the top-five at the Madejski Stadium for tackles made per game (2), interceptions (1.4 per game) and blocks per game (0.4).
Whilst Forest may need to fork out a considerable amount of money for Laurent due to the fact that he currently plays for one of their second-tier rivals, it may be worth submitting an offer if they believe that the former Bury man will help them reach new heights next season.
By backing up this particular move by swooping for some classy operators who know exactly what it takes to compete in the Championship, Hughton may be able to assemble a team which is capable of pushing for a top-six finish in this division.
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