Longstanding Port Vale target Jake Taylor is available on a permanent deal in this month’s transfer window.
That’s the verdict of Taylor’s agent, Phil Sproson, who has revealed the 22-year-old Nottingham Forest midfielder has been recalled from his loan at Vale’s League Two rivals Scunthorpe United.
He expects Forest to try to sell Taylor rather than send him on loan again – but with a deal containing a sell-on clause rather than a large up-front fee.
Sproson says Vale are one of three clubs to have shown an interest so far. Taylor had a hugely successful time at Vale on loan under John Askey last season when he scored seven goals in 25 appearances.
Vale tried to sign him on a permanent deal 12 months ago but their bids were turned down.
But Sproson believes Forest are more likely to be open to offers in this window.
He said: “He has been recalled, that’s nothing against what’s happened at Scunthorpe.
“Forest put a recall (option) in the loan there as they do for most of them. They have to trigger it for a certain date and they did.
“Forest do things right. With loan players they have a loan a manager who has seen Jake three times at Scunthorpe. It’s not one of those clubs where they are sent out on loan and it’s just ‘how did you play on Saturday?’”
As for Vale’s interest, Sproson said: “I speak to the Vale as I do a number of cubs. Vale have made no secret of the fact they like the player. I have made Vale totally aware of where things stand, but they are one of probably three clubs that have shown an interest in him.
“In favour of Vale are the connections there and Jake’s fondness for the club. If you go anywhere and have a happy time then you have happy memories.
“But it is early days, he is only just back at Forest so we will see what happens.”
Sproson expects any transfer to be heavily weighted towards a significant sell-on clause.
He said: “In the current climate, the bottom has fallen out for League Two and most of League One with regards to transfer fees.
“Jake isn’t going to command Championship clubs coming for him, otherwise he would be knocking on the door of Forest’s first team.
“He needs to go permanently now because he has outgrown under-23s football.
“So, he has to find a permanent home and Forest have recognised that. In Forest’s eyes, and I tend to agree with them, there is a quality player there that can comfortably play in League One.
“Somebody could get a good deal from signing the player and selling him on, even if they have to give a percentage of it away.”
Former Vale defender Sproson, who played 500 games for the club, says Taylor will benefit from some testing times over the last year. He was a key member of Vale’s midfield before he was injured last season.
He had to isolate this season after a family member tested positive for Covid-19 and has been in and out of the Scunthorpe side, only starting nine games.
Sproson added: “I have said to him, this is the pattern of a footballer. Not everything runs smoothly. He had a good season at Port Vale, things were going well and he was scoring and getting noticed. Now he’s had to taste the other side of it where he has gone into a (Scunthorpe) side that wasn’t doing particularly well at that time.
“He has struggled for a bit of form and has had to fight and see the other side of the game.
“It will do you good coming through this. He will appreciate the good times when they come again and it will make him stronger as a man and as a player.”