Stoke City winger James McClean is edging closer to a reunion with his former international manager Martin O’Neill as Nottingham Forest look to secure a swap deal for the 29-year old.
The Mirror.co.uk are reporting that both Stoke and Forest are in talks over a swap deal which would see McClean link up with O’Neill and Keane at the City Ground with Ben Osborne going in the other direction to the Bet365 Stadium.
The two clubs have recently appointed new managers, with O’Neill at Forest and Nathan Jones at Stoke both keen to shake up their respective squads as the January transfer window comes to a close.
McClean has yet to start under Nathan Jones and only joined the Potters in the Summer from West Brom, but his season has been a little “stop-start” according to former Stoke midfielder Liam Lawrence.
Speaking to Pundit Arena on Monday, Lawrence outlined that he felt McClean’s season had been hampered by the formation he was forced to play in.
“McClean has been doing alright, it’s been a bit stop-start for him this season he had a little injury and then he was out of the team the other week.
“I think with McClean he’s an out and out winger, he always has been, he gets up and down and wants to get to the byline and cross the ball but he was playing in a 4-3-3 up at Stoke.
“At times it was square pegs in round holes he was playing on the left of a front three and that’s not where he’s played all his career so it’s been a bit stop-start for him. He came on up front last week against Leeds and he was really good. We’ll have to see how that goes.”
A reunion with O’Neill may help McClean refind his best form, as the 29-year old proved to be one of Ireland’s most important players during the current Forest boss’ spell in charge of the Boys in Green.
Ben Osborne who is also a wide man would be a key part of the deal to bring McClean to Forest, and the 24-year old has been deployed recently as an emergency full-back for the Reds’ recent games.