Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Promotion, relegation issues will determine whether Championship flyer is a ‘prominent target’ for Leeds

Brennan Johnson Philip Zinckernagel Nottingham Forest April 2022

Leeds United will go in pursuit of winger Brennan Johnson is they survive in the Premier League and Nottingham Forest fail to win promotion, claims a report.

Johnson, 20, who has been one of the standout players in the second tier this season is a man in demand. The Wales star has scored 15 goals and collected nine assists from 43 Championship games. Forest are into the play-offs. And his exploits attracted a number of unsuccessful bids from Brentford in January.

Forest rejected all advances from the Premier League side with bids in the region of £18m turned down. Forest and Johnson were keen to see how Forest’s season panned out. And Steve Cooper’s men will do battle for a place in the top flight via the play-offs at worst.

Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Fulham denied the Cottagers the title and kept alive their own thin hopes of automatic promotion.

A fairytale ending for Cooper and Forest would undoubtedly see Johnson sign a new deal at the City Ground. His existing contract expires in June 2023.

Newcastle and Crystal Palace have also been linked with the attacker, who is a familiar name to Elland Road chiefs.

Director of football Victor Orta knows all about Johnson. He identified the former England Under-16 star a number of years ago. And in fact Orta tried to lure the player to Elland Road at the start of Marcelo Bielsa’s reign.

During an interview with Marca, (via Sport Witness), Orta said: “We have a project with the full support of the whole board and the CEO.

Brennan Johnson identified by Leeds

“I identified that we had to anticipate. We developed the ‘Anticipate Project Talent’ with my scouting group of English people, who are the best in England.

“We had to get to the player much earlier because if we waited for the player to debut, to have minutes in the Championship… Like Brennan Johnson now, he’s a new Welsh international, best young player in the English second division [and] is already at £20m.

“My model was to have got Brennan Johnson when he was 16, and we tried. But it wasn’t to be.”

Now the Daily Mail claims that Johnson remains on Leeds’ wishlist.

They are one of a clutch of teams who are tracking the player. And Orta and Jesse Marsch will make Johnson “a prominent target” if Leeds survive and Forest fail in their quest for the Premier League.

Money is expected to be available for the American coach to improve his squad. And an offer in excess of £20m will be required to lure Johnson.

READ MORE: Surprise Premier League suitor join the mix for £10m-rated Leeds and Tottenham target