Aitor Karanka is reluctant to reveal the identity of his January targets for fear of upsetting those in his plans at present, but whose place is under threat?

With the next window about to swing open, a recruitment drive at the City Ground is being readied.

Additions are expected, with fresh faces being sought to help aid a push towards the Premier League.

Karanka admits to having identified the areas he wants to bolster, with various targets having been mooted.

The Spaniard has said, as reported by the Nottingham Post: “I have the positions in mind that we want. But I do not want to talk about that, because the players who are in that position now, might become a little bit nervous.” he said.

Dangerous window

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“With the market it can be difficult. You can tell the players to be on their toes. But that can be dangerous with the window, if they start to think that you do not like them.

“When the transfer window is open, you have to be careful.”

All very polite from the Reds boss, but there are clearly a few in his squad that he doesn’t fancy.

Why else would he be looking for reinforcements?

Karanka added: “We know the names we want. But sometimes, on the other hand, I have players here who we would like to leave as soon possible, because that would be better for them and better for us.

“But the players we want to bring here, we know the names, we know who we want and we will try to get things done as soon as possible.

 

“I do not care about the time frame, when I look at last season and the way we did things in January, when we got our business done. The players who will come here will improve the team and improve the quality we have.”

So arrivals are on the cards, while departures can also be expected.

Of those currently in the Forest squad, whose face doesn’t fit?

Daryl Muphy has seen a possible exit discussed, with the experienced frontman facing more competition as he slips down the pecking order.

Karanka has claimed a new striker is not on his wish list, but is that all a smoke screen?

Exit door

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

More creativity has also been called for, so does that suggest regular game time will be limited for Gil Dias heading forward?

What about Ben Watson and Liam Bridcutt in the middle of the park?

And between the sticks, with Costel Pantilimon dividing opinion, a permanent exit door could creak open for the likes of Jordan Smith and Stephen Henderson.

Loan moves may also be sanctioned for other members of the squad, such as Ryan Yates or any of those set to see short-term spells elsewhere reach a conclusion at the end of the calendar year.

Karanka is keeping his cards close to his chest but, with festive season in full swing, there is not long to wait before we discover who made the naughty and nice lists.