Nottingham Forest have reportedly withdrawn their offer of a new contract for head coach Steve Cooper.
During 2021-22, Cooper spearheaded one of the most unlikely promotions in Championship history, taking Forest from the bottom of the standings in September to Championship playoff winners come May.
With in excess of 20 new players arriving at the City Ground during a hectic summer transfer window, it appeared a foregone conclusion that Cooper would remain at the East Midlands outfit in the long term.
However, five successive defeats in the Premier League, the latest coming at Leicester City by a 4-0 scoreline, has led to constant speculation regarding the Welshman’s future.
Cooper has had the option of signing a contract extension since pre-season but made the decision to leave it unsigned, only keeping him tied to Forest until the end of the current campaign.
According to the Daily Mail, that is no longer the case with owner Evangelos Marinakis giving serious consideration to multiple changes behind the scenes.
The most notable would be that of Cooper who, despite Forest’s recent form, is still highly-regarded in many quarters at the club.
Nevertheless, the report claims that other staff, including chief executive Dane Murphy and head of scouting Andy Scott, may also depart Forest in the near future.
As it stands, it is unclear whether Cooper will remain at the club for Monday’s Premier League fixture against Aston Villa, a crucial game with Forest sitting four points adrift of the 14th-placed side.
However, regardless of the result in that match, it is claimed that the 42-year-old is more likely to leave Forest than hold onto his position in the dugout.
Rafael Benitez, most recently of Everton, has been linked with a move to Forest as Cooper’s replacement, with it being suggested that the Spaniard is ready to take on his next challenge.
That said, AS report on Wednesday that the former Champions League winner has opted to reject any opportunity to be inserted as Forest’s new head coach.
Former Burnley boss Sean Dyche is also said to be an option for Marinakis having been out of work since his departure from Turf Moor in April.