Joe Lolley finds himself at the centre of a transfer tussle Nottingham Forest had been hoping to avoid.

Aston Villa are sniffing around once more.

And the Premier League new boys may be difficult to shift.

We are not talking about standard interest being shown in a valuable asset here.

Players of Lolley’s ilk are always going to attract admiring glances.

For the most part, this unwelcome attention can be fended off.

When a player is tied to a long-term contract and is happy in his surroundings, then why pay any interest to the advances from afar?

Villa are different.

They can tug on Lolley’s heartstrings.

He is, after all, a boyhood fan of the club.

Appeal

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

The chance to represent the team you have followed all your life would appeal to anyone.

Lolley is no different.

And he could not be blamed for having his head turned.

He does, however, have a big decision to make.

Forest team-mate Ryan Yates has told the Nottingham Post of the rumours surrounding a valued colleague: “We need to keep our best players, and especially our match-winners.

“Joe was unbelievable for us last season.

“But you can look at it as like a good thing for the club that these players are being linked with moves away, because that means they are doing so well.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to leave this club, especially with what the owner’s doing, the stadium and everything like that. It’s a good place to be.”

Forest are going places (hopefully).

Villa are already there.

Talisman

 

Lolley can be the central figure in a bid for promotion to the Premier League on Trentside.

He can be the talisman.

Such a standing would not be adopted at Villa Park.

Not with Jack Grealish around.

And with Villa, according to The Guardian, ready to trigger the £8 million purchase option in Anwar El Ghazi’s loan deal.

Lolley would be another piece of the puzzle in the West Midlands.

Over in the East, he would be the go-to man.

The reigning Player of the Year and first name on the team sheet under Martin O’Neill.

Will that be enough?

When it comes to a battle between heart and head, which emotion wins out?