Imps Set To Miss Out on Transfer Windfall

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Yesterday was full of chatter about Harry Toffolo‘s proposed move to Nottingham Forest, and how it could benefit Lincoln.

There was talk of a 10% sell-on fee, perhaps as much as £200,000 for the Imps, which would have been very nice for the current transfer window. Of course, everyone was delighted for Toff, a consummate professional who absolutely deserves his chance in the Premier League. It seemed that the good news was only a matter of hours away, but today it could have all been scuppered.

The seeing summer heat isn’t the only thing burning today; as John Percy suggests, Toffs move to Forest has also gone up in smoke. He tweeted: “On #nffc and O’Brien/Toffolo. Double deal was agreed on Sunday evening, as reported, but there is an issue with Toffolo (outside of both clubs). O’Brien has completed medical and done media interviews etc, but Forest now looking at other left-backs (Moreno)”

He went on to try to clarify the situation, saying: “My understanding (and pls bear in mind, club A & club B never usually agree) is that Huddersfield wanted the deal for both players, which Forest agreed to on Sunday. Issue then arises with Toffolo which is out of their control so pulled the plug. O’Brien expected to go through.”

This could lead to a perception that the sell-on fee due to us is the hold-up, which has been suggested to me in a couple of DMs today. Whilst that does seem to be the take away from the tweets, it surely couldn’t be: if the sell-on was 10%, and if Toff’s fee was (for argument’s sake) £3m, then we’d be due no more than £250,000 – would that really scupper the deal? Surely, even if it was our sell-on which was the issue, the two clubs could agree to split the difference; it’s small change now to Forest for a start. It does seem a bit dramatic to think that the sell-on fee for a player is the reason the deal has been held up.

Also, bear this in mind; it was reported yesterday that Forest were after another left back, before this deal seemingly collapsed. Could it be that the dynamic transfer market has moved quickly enough for the late change? I recall us being close to signing James Caton in 2016, only for late changes to mean Nathan Arnold arrived instead.

Whatever the hold-up is, if it does indeed scupper the deal, it will be heartbreaking for Toffolo, who was a great player for us and a decent human being also. I sincerely hope it can be resurrected, not because of our interest, but because he deserves his stab at the top flight.