Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

The Premier League’s Nottingham Forest is attempting to sign U.S. men’s national team attacker Gio Reyna on loan from German club Borussia Dortmund before the January transfer window closes next week, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein.

The deal would run until the end of the current season, the report said, and would include an option to buy Reyna outright upon its conclusion. Forest “are pushing hard” and agreement “is not far off” per Ornstein, who cited sources close to the ongoing negotiations.

Reyna hasn’t been heavily featured for Dortmund this season and appears determined to leave in order to find more playing time elsewhere. On Saturday, he came on for the final 16 minutes of BVB’s 4-0 victory over Cologne. He has started just one match in 2023-24, with no goals or assists so far.

Reyna, the son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna and former U.S. women’s national teamer Danielle Egan, parted ways with longtime agent Dan Segal last year. He hired Jorge Mendes, one of Europe’s leading reps who is best known for his career-long association with Cristiano Ronaldo, before the transfer window opened.

Last week, an ESPN report claimed that Mendes had offered Reyna’s services to as many as eight clubs, including Forest, with Real Sociedad in Spain perhaps the front-runner to land the New York City FC academy product.

Now, Forest appears to be the favorite. It would be an interesting choice. A two-time European champion, the club has fallen on hard times in recent decades. It returned to the Premier League in 2022 after more than 20 years toiling in England’s lower divisions. The Reds finished 16th last season, the same spot they occupy now. They’re just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Forest fired manager Steve Cooper last month and replaced him with respected Portuguese coach Nuno Espírito Santo. Still, survival is far from assured. And while the presence of first-choice U.S. keeper Matt Turner in Forest’s dressing room would help Reyna settle quickly in Nottingham, joining a club mired in a relegation dogfight doesn’t necessarily seem like the best option for a young, attack-minded player. 

England’s top flight is also a significant step up from the Bundesliga in both physicality and speed of play. For someone who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his five years in Germany, it’s hard to see how the move is ideal for either party.

But it would be a fresh start.

“Gio hasn’t been getting the game time that he wants and [is] potentially looking for alternate options,” U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter told FOX Sports last week when asked about Reyna possibly switching teams this month. “That’s completely understandable.”

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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