Nottingham Forest had a strange season in the Championship and ended up finishing 17th in the table despite some decent performances. After appointing Aitor Karanka in January, they will be hoping for a much better campaign next term.
With Karanka’s experience and contacts, they will also be hoping for a good summer transfer window, so that the club could start moving in the right direction.
On the other hand, Aston Villa experienced a season of highs and lows. Their 4th-place finish has to be admired and at times, they were certainly one of the most exciting teams to watch in the Championship. However, their loss in the play-off final and the failure to gain promotion back to the Premier League was a bitter pill to swallow for the fans.
There are also reports of the club being under financial difficulties because of their failure to gain promotion, with Financial Fair Play set to impact them unless they reduce their high wage bill by selling some of their star players.
It has been also claimed that Steve Bruce’s future at Villa Park is in doubt because of the instability surrounding the club.
Costel Pantilimon has had an interesting few seasons in his football career. The 6ft 7in shot stopper technically still belongs to Watford, although he hasn’t played for the Hornets for nearly two years now. He was loaned out by Watford, first to Deportivo La Coruna and then to Nottingham Forest, where he spent the second half of last season.
Forest must go all out to secure Pantilimon’s signing as they fared better when he was in the team. He helped them maintain 4 clean sheets in 13 games, with the custodian putting in a Man of the Match performance against Burton Albion; Forest were reduced to 10 men in that game.
Nottingham Forest should beat Aston Villa to the signature of Pantilimon, owing to Villa’s current financial instability. On top of that, Aitor Karanka could also prove to be a deciding factor in the goalkeeper choosing Forest, due to his excellent man-management skills.