Nottingham Forest have held preliminary talks over the signing of a manager with La Liga and international experience after completing a U-turn on Steve Cooper’s future, according to a report.
Forest picked up some decent Premier League results between January 1 and February 5. They started off the new year by holding Chelsea to a 1-1 draw and then went on to pick up league victories over Southampton and Leicester.
The east Midlands side also beat Leeds 1-0 on February 5, with Brennan Johnson scoring the winner. However, that represents the last time Forest won in the league.
Cooper’s side have been handed six defeats and picked up three draws since that Leeds victory over two months ago.
As a result, Forest have slid down the table and now occupy 18th spot. It remains an incredibly tight relegation battle, with teams who are as high as 13th still not out of danger. However, there is now real concern at the City Ground that Forest may be relegated during their first season back in the Prem.
Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has backed Cooper this season after all the 43-year-old did last term to get the club promoted.
And last week Marinakis even released a statement to publicly back Cooper. The Greek media mogul confirmed that Cooper remains in charge in order to ‘end the speculation’, though he did state that results ‘must improve immediately’.
Despite Marinakis’ recent statement, the Daily Mail claim Forest are still identifying managers who could replace Cooper, in case results do not get better.
Nott’m Forest attempt to land veteran manager
And Forest are planning an ambitious move for veteran coach Jorge Sampaoli. The 63-year-old has vast experience, having managed European sides such as Sevilla and Marseille and been in charge of South American nations Argentina and Chile.
Sampaoli’s best accomplishment is winning the 2014-15 Copa America, which he won with Chile ahead of usual favourites Brazil and Argentina.
He was most recently in charge of La Liga outfit Sevilla but was sacked on March 20.
The Daily Mail claim Forest are hoping to lure Sampaoli to the Premier League for the first time. They believe he has the knowledge and expertise to drag them out of the bottom three.
Forest have even held preliminary discussions with the manager’s camp.
Despite this, it would take some serious convincing to get Sampaoli to manage in England at this stage of his career. It is also unknown whether the Argentine knows enough English to do well in the Prem.
Forest looking at Sampaoli as a potential replacement for Cooper comes less than 24 hours after Marinakis sacked sporting director Filippo Giraldi.
The chief only joined the club in October and took charge of their January signings, which saw Danilo, Jonjo Shelvey, Gustavo Scarpa, Chris Wood and Keylor Navas all join. However, Giraldi has not done enough to impress the Forest hierarchy and has therefore left ‘amicably’, the club said.