Nottingham Forest have had 18 months to convince Jack Colback that the City Ground is the best place for him.

The hope is that he will be back for at least 18 more.

A second loan agreement with Newcastle United is coming to a close.

Given that he is currently serving a ban, in many ways it has already ended.

Colback has been restricted to a spectator role for the final throws of 2018-19.

Time is a commodity he now boasts in abundance.

He will be spending plenty mulling over his options.

Rafa Benitez has made it clear that he has no future at St James’ Park, so seeing out the final 12 months of a contract on Tyneside appears pointless.

His parent club may have deemed him surplus to requirements, but many could find a role for him.

Forest among them.

Plans

(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Martin O’Neill has already revealed that transfer talks are planned.

Aitor Karanka managed to get two deals over the line for Colback, but both were short-term.

The challenge now is to get a permanent move in place.

Reds legend Garry Birtles has said of Colback in the Nottingham Post: “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with him in the summer.

“You always need players with experience, and Colback has got plenty of that. He’s shown he can use it to help the young lads around him and can really influence games.

“You hope players and agents are saying, ‘look at what’s going on there, it could be that something really good is on the horizon’, and they want to get involved.

“Colback will already have a good idea about that because he’s been here all season. He’ll know about the owner’s ambition and the plans for redeveloping the stadium.”

Ambition off the field is one thing.

Progress on it is another matter entirely.

Colback, and countless others, would understandably relish the opportunity to turn out in the Premier League at a revamped City Ground.

Convinced

 

Is that where he sees the club heading though?

Over the course of a year-and-a-half, has he been shown enough?

If not, then Forest only have themselves to blame.

A frontrunner for the club’s Player of the Year award should be in no doubt that Trentside is the place to be.

He has, however, already played under two managers and heard plenty of calls for a third.

Does he want to commit to such uncertainty?

Even if O’Neill stays on this summer, which is to be expected, he will only have 12 months left on his current deal.

Colback would likely land more than a one-year contract if snapped up.

If he is not yet convinced by the long-term project at Forest, then somebody needs to get in his ear.

Before he packs his bags for the North East again and a window of opportunity slams shut.