Reds make McCleary a priority

Cotterill hoping in-form winger will pen contract extension

Garath McCleary: Will see his current contract at the City Ground expire in the summer

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Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cotterill admits persuading the in-form Garath McCleary to pen a new deal has become a top priority for the club.

McCleary has netted seven times in his last seven appearances, with a four-goal salvo against Leeds on Tuesday inspiring the Reds to a remarkable 7-3 success at Elland Road.

Unsurprisingly, his performances have started to draw admiring glances from afar, with potential suitors aware of his contract situation.

The 24-year-old's current deal at the City Ground is set to expire in the summer and no extension has been put in place as yet.

Cotterill is keen to address that issue as a matter of urgency, though, and is hoping discussions will be opened in the not too distant future.

Money

"At the end of the day, I am not in charge of contracts," he said.

"I don't know if anyone is at this moment in time but there are too many players who have been allowed to get into a position where they are going out of contract.

"In the past we have had the money to deal with that, but we don't have that now.

"We need to make sure we secure things with him sharply.

"He has a habit of giving me the odd dig in the ribs in the canteen after training but, if he wants to keep punching me in the ribs for another two or three years at Forest, I will be very happy with that. Hopefully we can make that happen."