Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has not ruled out signing a goalkeeper in the final hours of the January transfer window following an injury to Dean Henderson.
Forest were active again on Monday as former England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey underwent a medical ahead of a proposed moved from Newcastle, but injuries in the squad have forced Cooper to keep looking.
On-loan Manchester United stopper Henderson is facing four to six weeks out with a muscular injury – with Wales international Wayne Hennessey stepping up in his absence – and Cooper may seek further cover before the window closes on Tuesday night.
“Possibly,” Cooper said when asked if a goalkeeper would be a priority on deadline day.
“We’re at this stage in the window now where time is ticking. It hasn’t been ideal with Dean getting injured and Taiwo (Awoniyi) getting injured, as well as one or two other things. If we feel those players need replacing then we’ll look at that.
“But wanting to do something and doing something are two different things.”
Henderson and Awoniyi have joined an injury list that also includes Omar Richards, Moussa Niakhate, Giulian Biancone, Cheikhou Kouyate and Morgan Gibbs-White, with a bug further limiting Cooper’s options for the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg away to Manchester United on Wednesday.
Gibbs-White has suffered an ankle injury, with Cooper unable as yet to put a clear timetable on when the midfielder might return.
“An estimate and reality can be two different things, but certainly he’s nowhere near playing at the moment,” the manager said. “He won’t be available against United and in the short term.”
Ryan Yates and Jack Colback are among those who have been suffering with illness, and although Chris Wood seems to have shaken off the worst of the bug, the New Zealand striker is cup-tied as Forest face the unlikely task of overturning a 3-0 first-leg deficit at Old Trafford.
Finding positives has not been easy but Cooper did offer one.
“I’ve managed to get over my cough,” he said. “You can report that if you want. With illness and injury it’s not been a great time, but I don’t want to dwell on that as it gives you an excuse.”
The injury problems have had a bearing on Forest’s transfer dealings, not just when it comes to possibly seeking cover for Henderson, with the immediate needs of a side in a relegation fight competing with longer-term planning.
“It’s always both of those things,” Cooper said. “Because of injuries, there’s some here and now stuff that has definitely arisen and we can’t shy away from that. But obviously as a club, we always want to try and put money where we think players can become assets for the club.
“I don’t know too much about that, but I think there’s always a short and a long-term feeling on any players, not just ones that you’ve signed but ones that might be here already.
“What I’ve got to do is think about the players that come here every day.”
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