Friday 15 December 2017

Forest owner to tempt Long with £7m deal

Shane Long, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with teammate John O'Shea after scoring at the Three International Friendly v Latvia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Shane Long, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with teammate John O'Shea after scoring at the Three International Friendly v Latvia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Garry Doyle

Nottingham Forest have indicated they are willing to double Shane Long's wages and offer him a £7m deal over four years to tempt him away from West Bromwich Albion.

The club's owner, Fawaz Al-Hasawi, has sanctioned a £5m outlay on a transfer target of manager Billy Davies' choosing, providing the striker in question has a proven track record in the Championship.

Long certainly fits that criteria -- and, according to insiders at Forest, is top of Davies' shortlist.

That the club are also prepared to offer Long a contract worth £35,000-a-week over four years is significant as West Brom have played hardball in their negotiations with the Ireland striker since March, refusing to make the necessary adjustments required to complete a new deal.

With his exit from the Hawthorns seeming increasingly likely, the question now is where, not when, he will go. Everton, Newcastle and Norwich have pursued him but Forest, as of yesterday, have jumped to the head of the queue.

Meanwhile, West Ham midfielder Mark Noble, has made it clear that he has no desire to switch allegiance from England and declare for Ireland.

"My nan and grandad are from Ireland but I am English," he said.

Elsewhere, Derry City manager Roddy Collins insists he has no plans to sign Derry Gaelic football star Eoin Bradley.

The 28-year-old has crossed the sporting divide in the last two years to make a major impact with Irish League side Coleraine.

"I don't know Eoin Bradley, I've never spoken to him so talk of the player coming to Derry is news to me," said Collins, who has signed Danny Ventre, who captained Sligo Rovers to the league title in 2012.

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