Nottingham Forest are reportedly keen to tie Steve Cooper to a new deal as a rival club would have to pay a relatively small fee to poach him.
Cooper, 42, took over from Forest early last season after Chris Houghton was sacked with Forest at the foot of the Championship. Having led the club to a return to the Premier League after more than 20 years, he is considered by many to be one of the best rising managers in the country.
According to The Sun, the club want to offer him new terms to try and protect themselves from being left out if Cooper is touted away.
Cooper signed a two-year deal when he took over from Houghton in 2021 and with only one year left the compensation owed to Forest would be minimal.
The report says Forest could be owed just £1.5million if Cooper were to move to another club.
In contrast, Brighton received a record £22million in compensation from Chelsea after they took Graham Potter and five members of his backroom team.
Indeed, it could be Brighton trying to bring Cooper to the south coast with the club reportedly interested in his services following Potter’s sudden departure.
Other names Brighton are set to target are Kjetil Knutsen, currently with Bodo/Glimt in Norway, and Mainz 05’s Bo Svensson in the Bundesliga.
If Cooper left the City Ground, Forest would likely look to the continent for his next manager.
After extensive spending this summer, which saw them renew almost their entire squad, Forest are looking to secure a string of results to ensure Premier League survival this season.
Forest found the early knock difficult, with Cooper’s side currently sitting 19th on four points. In the last two games against fellow promoted Bournemouth and Fulham, they have both given up the lead and conceded three goals.
Cooper admitted after their latest loss that they don’t look like a team yet and it will take time for his 20+ new players to come together.
“A lot of this is self-inflicted, I think. We don’t manage to concede that first goal very well. After that, we are not sufficiently consolidated,” he said of his side’s current struggles.
“There have now been a few instances where we looked vulnerable. We were fine in the first half and had pretty much control of the ball. I thought we started the second half well, but then they took a corner, made it a goal, then the second goal.
“We have to look at ourselves first. It really is that simple.
“There are elements of our game where we don’t quite look like a team yet and that will come with time and experience which we don’t have yet due to the nature of summer.”