Mansfield Town’s new boss John Dempster has told top scorer Tyler Walker he would be very welcome to return to the Stags next season if it was an option.
The Nottingham Forest loanee striker, who bagged 26 goals for Mansfield, will meet with Reds boss Martin O’Neill this week to discuss his future.
Aware there would be huge competition if Forest allow him out on loan again, Dempster said he felt it right to make sure Walker knew the new manager would welcome him with open arms.
“I spoke to Tyler Walker this week and wished him well,” he said.
“He is back at Forest speaking to the manager there to find to what their plans are with him. He could end up in their plans.
“He is another player who has spoken very highly of this football club and loved his time here.
“So I have encouraged him that he would be more than welcome back here next season if that was an option.”
Dempster added: “Being realistic, he is going to have a whole host of clubs that would want him if he was made available for loan, probably from higher divisions – we know that.
“So that’s something we’ll just keep in the pipeline. “I just wanted to make sure Tyler knew how I felt about him and how this football club felt about him and if it was an option we’d love to have him back.”
Walker was one of five loanees at the club, but Dempster said he was the only one they would be pursuing.
“The rest of the loan players have returned to their parent clubs, but Tyler was one who was outstanding for us. So I thought it was important to touch base with him,” he said.
“I know the football club had already thanked him for his services, but I felt it was important.”
Three of the loanees came from Forest with both clubs’ owners enjoying a great relationship – and Dempster said that may prove useful in picking up any other suitable Reds prospects that become available.
“That link is still strong. The Nottingham Forest owners and ours are very close,” he said.
“I know their senior coaching staff quite well and, if it’s right for both football clubs, then that is hopefully a link we can make the most of.”