Two top flight sides have been linked with a summer move for classy midfielder Garner, who has been in fine form during his second loan spell at Championship side Nottingham Forest
James Garner has really caught the eye during his second loan spell with Nottingham Forest.
The Manchester United youngster spent the second half of last season with the Championship side but has really shone this time around.
Stellar performances from the midfielder have not only seen Forest rise from bottom of the table and into play-off contention, but also progress deep into the FA Cup.
Garner posted stand-out showings in giant-killings over Arsenal and Leicester and his stock is as high as it has ever been in his short career.
Some of those displays led to a clutch of high-profile ex-players paying him compliments.
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Martin Keown suggested that his parent club should “be thinking about getting him back there quickly” after his showing against Arsenal, whilst Trevor Sinclair went further and compared the youngster to David Beckham.
Now, fresh reports claim that Premier League sides are sniffing around the 20-year-old ahead of a potential summer swoop.
The Sun claims that both Leeds United and Southampton are potentially eyeing up summer moves. It is claimed a loan move may be requested although Leeds, provided they retrain their top flight status, may well choose to replicate the permanent deal they worked for Dan James earlier this season.
It is thought United would ideally let Garner go on loan to a Premier League side next season but their reaction to a serious cash bid would offer an indication as to where Garner fits in the long-term plan at Old Trafford.
Darren Fletcher, the former United midfielder who is now technical director, recently spoke about the progression of Garner and other talented youngsters who are out on loan.
Tahith Chong and Brandon Williams are just two examples, spending time at Birmingham City and Norwich City respectively.
“We have to manage the balance between allowing them to develop and creating the right steps for that, without piling the pressure onto them,” Fletcher told a fans’ forum.
“Along with (head of academy Nick Cox), I’m looking at how we best use the loan system to give academy players invaluable experience at other clubs.
“We currently have 13 young players and academy products on loan and playing regularly in other divisions or leagues.
“Hopefully we’ll see players like Brandon Williams, Teden Mengi, Jimmy Garner, Ethan Laird, Tahith Chong, and Amad Diallo reap the benefits of that. All of them are doing really well on loan and we’re excited to bring them back in pre-season to see how they fare with our first-team players.”
Garner signed a new contract at United prior to agreeing a second loan spell with Forest.
So far he has made 24 starts, scoring three and adding three assists in the Championship.
After penning his deal, which lasts until June 2024 with the option of an additional year’s extension, he made clear his aim is to one day become a regular in the United midfield.
“I’m made up, Manchester United has been a massive part of my life for over 10 years now,” Garner said.
“My ambitions are obviously to become a first-team player here. I know exactly what it takes, I’m ready to go and showcase my ability to everyone and keep on striving for all my goals.
“I want to be a big player for this club one day, that is my ultimate aim and I’ll be working every day to make that happen.”