Until told otherwise, Nottingham Forest must cling to the hope that they have not seen the last of Jack Colback.

As things stand, he remains very much up for grabs.

The exit door is open at Newcastle, he just needs to walk through it.

Where he ends up when taking that step is the bigger issue here.

Everyone at the City Ground would welcome him back with open arms.

After two productive loan spells on Trentside, a permanent arrival is now the desired outcome.

And there has been nothing to suggest that a deal will not happen.

Colback has known since mid-April that his latest stint with Forest was over.

When collecting a 15th caution of the season away at Sheffield United, the 29-year-old landed himself a three-match ban.

Campaign ended.

Conversation

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Martin O’Neill told the Nottingham Post at the time when asked if the Reds had seen the last of Colback: “I genuinely do not know that.

“I need to have a conversation with him. I think that Jack – without having had this conversation with him – has another year left on his contract at Newcastle.

“I would not know what their plans are for him. Even if they are happy to allow him to move on, there are other issues that we would need to deal with.”

O’Neill would later say in the Post when quizzed on his plans for all of those on loan agreements: “I intend to speak to all of the squad, that is absolutely my intention. I want to see where we all stand for next season.

“Both when it comes to the players who are under contract, the players who are out of contract and, of course, the players who are here on loan.

“I have a fairly decent idea in my mind of what we want to do, yes.”

When reading between the lines, the general consensus is that Colback is a top target.

To adopt any other stance would be baffling.

Qualities

 

We are talking about a man here who never gave anything less than 100 per cent for Forest and took the captain’s armband at times.

His qualities are still most desired.

And needed.

The powers that be will know that and are hopefully doing all they can to appease all parties.

Forest are not being linked with anybody else in the Colback role.

And he, despite being a Premier League-calibre performer, is not being linked with any other club.

Is that because there is an acceptance that he will soon be back at the City Ground?

Here’s hoping!

There is plenty of other speculation to be found around the Reds at present, with supporters desperate for stories on the next big arrival.

In Colback’s case, though, no news is good news.