Nott’m Forest break British transfer record as duo arrive late to make it 21 summer signings but Chelsea deal falls through

Willy Boly Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest broke the British record for most signings in a single season after an unprecedented summer of transfers, as they completed a late double deal on deadline day.

The newly promoted Premier League side brought in 21 players during the summer window. However, they failed to make Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi their 22nd signing after a proposed move fell through.

Belgium striker Batshuayi had looked set to move from Chelsea. But a deal could not be reached and player remained at Stamford Bridge.

The 28-year-old, who joined the Blues in 2016 and has had five loan spells, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Despite that deal falling through, Forest still beat the British record for most transfers in a single window. That honour was jointly held by Livingston in summer 2001 and Dundee United in 2000 on 19 signings.

The English record was completely smashed, having been Crystal Palace 17 additions in 2013.

Forest made Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, Blackpool winger Josh Bowler, and Rennes defender Loic Bade – on loan, with an option for a permanent deal – their 19th, 20th and 21st summer signings on deadline day.

Trio arrive on deadline day

Ivory Coast star Boly was the first to arrive on Thursday after penning a two-year contract.

The record-setting 20th signing was Blackpool winger Bowler, in a said to be worth about £4m.

The 23-year-old, who has scored two goals in seven Championship games this season, has immediately been loaned to Olympiakos for the rest of the 2022-23 campaign.

Bowler joined for Blackpool in June 2021 and impressed in the Championship last term, scoring seven league goals.

The final addition was Rennes defender Bade on loan, with an option for a permanent deal.

There were some outgoings too at the City Ground, with a number of players moving on.

Five players left on free transfers. Meanwhile, first-choice goalkeeper Brice Samba joined Lens after rejecting a new contract following the loan arrival of Dean Henderson.

Loanees Djed Spence, James Garner, Philip Zinckernagel, Max Lowe and Keinan Davis all returned to their parent clubs, with some of them then heading to pastures new.

Forest are back in action on Saturday when they play host to Bournemouth in the Premier League.