By Ian Parker, PA
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is close to becoming Nottingham Forest’s fifth January signing after he underwent a medical on Monday lunchtime.
The 30-year-old former England international has been made available by the Magpies having made only three Premier League appearances this season, with his contract running out this summer.
At a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United, Forest boss Steve Cooper said: “I won’t deny Jonjo is having a medical because I think you’ve all seen him so it would be wrong for me to do that.
“We’ve got to respect the process and if that process is completed, we’ll talk openly about that.”
Shelvey would follow Chris Wood in swapping Newcastle for Forest after the New Zealand striker joined on loan earlier this month, with Gustavo Scarpa, Brandon Aguilera and Danilo the other new faces in Cooper’s squad.
Asked if any further moves were planned, Cooper said: “There’s lots of work going on and some things can happen but obviously it might not – that’s ins and outs.
“There’s speculation of all sorts. Some of it might be true and some of it may be nowhere near the truth…
“I think like any transfer window, you want it to close with the squad in a stronger place than when it started.
“What’s been unfortunate for us both before and during the window, we’ve picked up injuries and illnesses so that has added to the jigsaw of trying to put a squad together.
“My mantra has always been work with the players you see every day and when that changes you adapt and change with it. It’s my job to coach the team and try to prepare for the next game.”
Shelvey’s arrival could allow Lewis O’Brien to leave Forest, while another player who also arrived from Huddersfield last summer, Harry Toffolo, has been linked with a move as well.
“It’s all what ifs at the moment,” Cooper said. “If someone comes in it might be an option for someone else to leave. There might be some players who think they want to leave but they can’t because they’re needed here.
“There’s definitely been interest in some players. Where players might leave, it will be on our terms. We never want to make life difficult for any players but we have to do what’s right for the club.
“The two lads you mention are fantastic professionals and they have contributed well this season, and if that continues with them, great. A lot could happen between now and tomorrow night.”
Cooper will spend deadline day preparing his team for Wednesday’s trip to Old Trafford. Overturning a 3-0 deficit from the first leg seems improbable, particularly given United’s recent home form, but Cooper has made it clear what he expects from his players.
“We want to try and get a positive result and a positive performance,” he said. “That’s where it really starts, around certain individuals and certain areas of the pitch. What we won’t be doing is going in really disheartened about the 3-0.
“We’ve accepted the situation we’ve put ourselves in and we have to take the game for what it is – it’s a semi-final on a huge stage and we have to try on the night to get a positive result and a positive performance.
“That might not get you through – that’s the likelihood and there’s no point trying to dress it up as something else but for me if you have the right mentality and spirit in the group, you’re bringing it to every game regardless of the context and that’s what we’re trying to do.”