Joe Worrall: Nottingham Forest boss Lamouchi 'will never' permit defender's sale

Joe Worrall
Joe Worrall has made 83 appearances for Nottingham Forest to date

In-demand defender Joe Worrall will remain at Nottingham Forest under Sabri Lamouchi after the Reds boss said he "will never" permit his sale.

The 22-year-old centre-back has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Watford and Sheffield United.

He has been ever-present for fourth-placed Forest in the league this term.

When asked about the prospect of selling Worrall, Lamouchi said: "No way. With me, it is impossible."

Locally-born Worrall, who made his Reds debut in October 2016, is two years into a three-and-a-half-year contract.

He has established himself in the heart of Forest's defence this season under Frenchman Lamouchi after spending last season on loan with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

"We are here to try to achieve a dream all together," said Lamouchi of a Reds side that are chasing promotion to the Premier League.

"Don't talk to me about money, don't talk to me about challenge - Joe Worrall is from Forest.

"We started a job together and I will never give permission to do that (sell the player)."

Owner 'has to invest a lot of money'

Lamouchi said the club's focus should be on buying players, not offloading its highly-rated stars.

"They have permission to give me more players only," the Frenchman said with a smile ahead of Saturday's Championship match at Reading.

"I prefer to be clear. The owner wants to give our fans the best league - the Premier League - and to achieve that he has to invest a lot of money. But it is not enough; we need to do a little bit more.

"We need to find the right player, the right profile to achieve our goals."

'New striker the priority' - Analysis

BBC Radio Nottingham's Robin Chipperfield:

Lamouchi has sent a very clear message about the ever-present rock at the heart of Forest's defence. While it's true to say that every player has his price, the Frenchman has made his view abundantly clear.

For Worrall, the talk of Premier League interest comes at a good time - having seen fellow academy products Matty Cash and Ryan Yates sign new deals, you would imagine the Forest-supporting Worrall will be next on the 'to do' list.

Top of that list, as far as the head coach is concerned, will be to get a striker into the club to alleviate some of the workload on top scorer Lewis Grabban - with Jonathan Kodjia, Eddie Nketiah and Matej Vydra among those mentioned as possible targets.