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Forest line up Greening bid

Steve McClaren is ready to table a £600,000 offer for Jonathan Greening, according to the Daily Express.

The new Nottingham Forest manager is looking to bring in experienced players to supplement his young side as he plots a promotion push. Greening, 32, had been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest last season under former boss Billy Davies but enjoyed a excellent end to the campaign with Fulham.

Whether Martin Jol, who handed Greening a start in last week’s second leg Europa League draw with NSI Runavik, would be prepared to let the versatile veteran leave to free up a place in his squad for a new midfielder, remains to be seen.

Forest fancy Greening

Billy Davies will try and lure Jonathan Greening to Nottingham Forest by tabling a £1m offer for the Fulham midfielder.

Davies is desperate to try and reshape the Forest midfield after his side saw their promotion dreams die in a play-off defeat to Swansea last month. The Forest boss tried to bring Greening to the City Ground in January but his loan bid was rejected by then Fulham manager Mark Hughes. The former West Brom midfielder made just fourteen appearances for the Whites last season and has voiced his concerns about a lack of first-team football.

The 32 year-old did, however, enjoy a fine end to the season when Hughes employed him as a left winger in Fulham’s final two games. He was outstanding in the 2-0 win at Birmingham and provided an excellent cross for Bobby Zamora’s goal against Arsenal on the last day of the season. Davies will hope that Martin Jol decides that he can do without Greening, but the loss of his versatility would be a big blow ahead of Fulham’s European campaign.

In praise of Jonathan Greening

Earlier in the season when Fulham fans were compiling the lists of who Sparky might ship out in the summer, Jonathan Greening might have featured in a few selections. You could see why – as the one-time shaggy haired midfielder – hadn’t seen much game time over the course of Mark Hughes’ tenure, but I always thought that an early departure would have been harsh on Greening.

As cover, he’s certainly worth a place in the Fulham squad. Tenacious in the tackle, Greening’s a willing runner and can certainly spot a pass or two. His brilliant end to the season also showed that he’s more than handy out wide, as he proved at West Brom. He gave Stephen Carr a torrid time at Birmingham and produced a first-class cross for Bobby Zamora’s header against Arsenal last weekend. But what’s more impressive than Greening’s performances on the field, is his attitude. Far from being happy at being a mere squad player, he’s keen for more game time. No histrionics, however, just a quiet word with the gaffer:

I’ve got one more year on my contract, but I’ve had a word with the gaffer and he understands that I’m 32 now and want to play more than I have done this year. I played in the last two games, but I didn’t play for six months. My last game was in October, or something like that, and I’ve only made five or six starts.

When you’re used to playing 50-odd games a year, it’s quite hard, but I still feel I’m good enough to play in the Premier League. I love the club, but when you’re getting to my age, the clock’s ticking.

I’m happy to stay if he plays me more often, but we’ll have to see what happens in the summer. I’ve said if you’re not going to play me, it would be in everyone’s best interests to let me go.

He was fine with that. He’s a real nice guy and understands. But really, the ball’s in his court now. If he wants me around and wants to involve me in games, then that’s fine. There aren’t many better places to be than this place.

What shines through from those quotes is a genuine affection for the football club, which is somewhat surprising since he’s not been with us long. His offal interview also contains a terrific line about our European hopes:

A club like ours will relish the challenge. We know we’re probably a few years off the Champions League, so we should take this chance with open arms. I was involved in most of the games two years ago and have great memories – especially the Juventus game.

Optimism, eh? It’s a wonderful thing.

In all seriousness, the prospect of a long-running European campaign (even if we don’t make the group stages) might have Hughes reassessing his squad. The dual positives of making the Europa League are that it makes the club more attractive for potential signings (just remember how Moussa Dembele said our European run had been a big factor in joining Fulham) and offers those who Hughes might want to keep – say Gera or Greening – another reason to stay.

This Morning…

More bits about Fulham related and comings and goings in the paper this morning.

 

Apparently Greening is becoming somewhat accustom to being a loanee. After a year with us we had previously agreed to sign him for around £3m then we swiftly went and changed gaffers. Greening wouldn’t appear to feature highly in Hughes plans for the season though as Blackburn are being linked with taking him for a year. Hopefully we can get a compulsory purchase order written into it as WBA did to us.

Last night Sky Sports were reporting we’d turned down another approach from Norf London for Schwarz. For some reason Wenger thought waiting a week then coming in with an identical offer of £2m as he did a seven days ago would be more appealing to Sparky. It appears not though as it was swiftly turned down. Perhaps we are holding on for that £4m AND Carlos Vela offer I mentioned yesterday…

And if the ever so reliable gossip columns are to be believed and we’re lining up a swift replacement for the Aussie with City’s Given, that may be floundering too as he somehow managed to injure himself during the Europa League game last night despite not playing for a second. The stopper stayed over night to receive treatment whereas the rest of the blues travelled back late last night.

 

And Palace snapped up Fulham trainee Wesley Foderingham yesterday afternoon, only to quickly send him back out the Selhurst Park door (revolving I’d like to think by the speed of it) and off to Bromley on a two month loan.

Is Greening leaving so soon?

Not even 2 months after signing a 2 year contract following a reasonably successful loan spell at the Cottage, the Mirror are reporting that Jonathan Greening is off out on a season-long loan. Apparently Greening is surplus to Mark Hughes’ requirements and he may be off ooop north to Blackburn.

Checking against the squad profiles on the Offal this would leave 9 midfielders, one of whom is Robert Milsom; a player with no squad number and no league appearances to date. So, with no offence to Rob, that pretty much leaves 8. Is that enough? Chris Baird is listed as a defender but can perform well in midfield however we have only have 8 defenders, 7 if you move Bairdy forward. I’m no footy manager but I’m worried that’s not enough. Okay so we have a 26 man squad (27 if you include Milsom) so someone’s going to get “dropped” but must it be from a position where we’re lacking a bit of cover? And although Greening wasn’t a prolific goal-scorer he did seem to do a good job as a playmaker. I can certainly think of less effective members of the squad… (for another day maybe)

This may all of course suggest that Hughes has his eye on some potential new midfielders that have somehow escaped the media radar. I’m determined to be optimistic this season so that’s my theory and I’m sticking with it. They’d best get a wriggle on though.