Nottingham Forest make move for former Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough

Nigel Clough in his time as manager of Sheffield United
Nigel Clough in his time as manager of Sheffield United
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Nottingham Forest have made an approach to Burton to speak with their former player and ex-Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough about becoming the club’s next manager.

Forest have formally approached Burton but they have not yet been granted permission to open talks with Clough about replacing Philippe Montanier.

Nigel Clough is currently in charge at Burton Albion

Nigel Clough is currently in charge at Burton Albion

The Frenchman was sacked by Forest on January 14 with the club 20th in the Sky Bet Championship after a run of eight games without a win.

Clough began his playing career at Forest under his father Brian - widely regarded as the club’s greatest manager - and went on to make more than 300 appearances across two spells.

The 50-year-old was given his first managerial opportunity by Burton in 1998 and - after spells in charge of Derby and Sheffield United - returned last season to guide the Brewers to promotion to the Championship.

Burton are three places below 19th-placed Forest in the table and must now fight to keep their manager as Fawaz Al Hasawi steps up his search for a manager with “experience and vision”.

The Forest owner last week pledged “complete and utter commitment” to the club after the collapse of a proposed takeover and the sacking of Montanier.

After months of negotiations, investment from an American consortium headed by John Jay Moores fell through on January 13 as Al Hasawi felt the deal was “not in the interests of the long-term future of our club”.

Montanier lost his job the following day, just hours after a goalless draw with Birmingham, and in an open letter to supporters, Al Hasawi outlined the criteria for his successor.

“As you know, we are also in discussions over the appointment of our new manager,” he said.

“While I cannot comment on names, I can give every assurance that we will appoint the candidate with the experience and vision to maximise the squad’s talent and potential, and improve results.”

Clough spent just over 18 months at Sheffield United where he took the Blades to the semi-finals of the FA Cup before losing out to Hull City at Wembley.

He took over in October 2013 with the club in the League One relegation zone and sparked an impressive recovery which saw United finish 11th.

They were expected to kick on the following season and though Clough’s side made it to the semi-finals of the League Cup, losing narrowly to Tottenham over two legs, they stumbled into the play-offs before losing out to Swindon Town.

In May 2015 Clough was sacked by United and eventually replaced by Nigel Adkins.