Guy Moussi believes the lure of the Premier League may be too strong for Ben Osborn to resist.
Osborn is the subject of a £3m bid from Sheffield United following their promotion to the top flight, with the Blades hoping to take advantage of Osborn’s contract situation.
The 25-year-old Nottingham Forest academy graduate has just a year left on his current Forest deal, and Moussi, who played with Osborn at the City Ground, believes a move to the top flight would be difficult to turn down.
“It’s a big decision for the club and for him, also,” Moussi told NottinghamshireLive’s Forest podcast.
“He’s one our our longest serving players. For me, Benny is the heart and soul of Nottingham Forest.
“I trained with him when he was breaking through into the first team at the age of 16 or 17, he’s come through the academy and I love that.”
Moussi admits the club face a tricky decision, too, when it comes to deciding whether to accept United’s offer or reject their advances and try and keep him on Trentside.
With Osborn coming into the final year of his contract, and the player keen on chancing his arm in the top flight, the 34-year-old admits the board, manager and player all need to sit down and discuss their feelings, open and honestly.
And he says, Osborn deserves to have his wishes respected given the consistent level of his performances and commitment for a club he’s played more than 200 times for.
“For me, as a player and I know he has his dream of playing in the Premier League, but it’s down to the club to do what they want to do, and to Sabri Lamouchi, too.
“Do they keep the player and give him more responsibility in offence, otherwise, they have to really think about it, because if he’s got only one year left on his contract – football is a business (when it comes to selling him).
“What should they do?
“Let him go for free in a year’s time, give him a new contract or let him go in this transfer window.
“I think it’s a very big decision that has to be measured by the board, but talk with Benny also because we have to respect his opinion.
“He respects the club, he’s someone that has always given 100 percent and I think they have to sit down with him and ask him those questions (about what he wants).”
Moussi himself admits he was tempted by a move to the top flight when his first spell at Forest was coming to an end, before he opted to remain in Nottingham and sign a new deal.
“I had this opportunity when I was out of contract after the Swansea defeat in the play-offs,” said the Frenchman, who has since retired from playing to focus on his healthcare business.
“A Premier League team were interested in me, but it was taking time.
“I always thought to myself, that as much as I loved the club, I would probably leave for a Premier League club because that’s the dream of a player (to play at the top level).
“A player that will be competitive in a club will always aim to play at the top.
“My aim was to be at the top and play against the top players against the top teams.”
Osborn has often divided opinion among the Forest fan base, despite being a regular with every manager he’s played under since making his debut in 2014, and Moussi admits the feeling among the supporters could play a part in his decision to seek pastures new or remain on familiar territory.
“If some people like what I’m doing on the pitch, and some people don’t appreciate me probably I’d take the opportunity of going to play in the Premier League because I want to challenge myself,” he admitted.”
Chris Wilder’s Blades are expected to struggle next term following their surprise promotion, and some would argue that signing for a club that boast a fair chance of being relegated straight back would not be a good move.
Not for Moussi, though, who admits a players’ career is a short one and the chance to test yourself in the top flight is a chance you shouldn’t pass up.
“You want to gamble and take the chance, when the train is coming, you have to jump on it.”