Nottingham Forest have re-established a working arrangement with George Syrianos, the club’s former head of recruitment, after concluding that it was a mistake to sever ties with him last season.

Syrianos, who joined the club from VfB Stuttgart in May 2021, played an instrumental role in identifying the transfer targets who helped Steve Cooper’s team win promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago.

He also identified a number of players last summer, including Taiwo Awoniyi, Moussa Niakhate and Orel Mangala, who were key catalysts in the team retaining their top-flight status.

However, he lost his job last October, along with the head of scouting, Andy Scott, after the club decided changes needed to be made in the wake of a difficult start to their first season in the Premier League for 23 years. In particular, there were concerns at the time about Awoniyi’s suitability to be a success, having signed from Union Berlin for £17.5million.

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Filippo Giraldi, who was appointed as sporting director in the week before Syrianos was moved out, was sacked six months later.

Forest’s hierarchy have realised over a period of months that they acted too hastily and, after a number of conversations between the relevant people, the club have invited Syrianos to take up a consultancy role offering his expertise to the board, owner Evangelos Marinakis and the recruitment department.

Awoniyi ended up as Forest’s top scorer last season, scoring 11 times despite missing three months with injury, including a number of crucial goals in their battle against relegation. The Nigeria international started the current campaign with a superb breakaway goal in the team’s 2-1 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.

Forest, who play Sheffield United on Friday, have not given up on trying to sign PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangare – a player Syrianos is understood to have targeted a year ago – but have been unable to finalise a deal with the Ivory Coast international at a time when he has a number of clubs trailing him.

Other candidates have been identified as a back-up plan and, as well as their long pursuit of goalkeeper Dean Henderson from Manchester United, Forest also want to bring in a high-calibre centre-half before the transfer window closes in September.



14 seconds that will give Nottingham Forest hope for the season

(Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images)

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