Nottingham Forest are showing no signs of slowing down in the transfer market as they are reportedly close to bringing in Houssem Aouar from Lyon.
The Reds agreed their 13th and 14th transfers of the summer window late on Saturday. They spent a reported £20million on Emmanuel Dennis, with the Nigerian arriving from Watford.
They also captured 32-year-old midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate on a free transfer. He became a free agent earlier this summer following the expiry of his Crystal Palace contract.
Nottingham Forest have spent decent money on several players so far, including Neco Williams and Taiwo Awoniyi. But owner Evangelos Marinakis is willing to sanction more moves this week.
As per Fabrizio Romano, Steve Cooper’s side are on the verge of bringing in Remo Freuler from Atalanta. He will cost £7.6m (€9m).
And they are also in talks with Lyon over the signing of Aouar. According to Sky Sports, who cite their Italian counterparts, Forest are ‘close’ to striking an agreement for him.
They have already made one bid for him recently, only to see it pushed back. But Forest have launched a new proposal and this one appears set to go through.
Aouar rate Lyon highly but are in a relatively weak negotiating position due to the Frenchman’s contract expiring next year. Forest have used this situation to their advantage.
Arsenal lose out on Houssem Aouar
Aouar has been a target for Arsenal for some time now. Despite them setting their sights on him, the Gunners have never been able to complete his move.
Instead it looks like Cooper and Forest will benefit from having Aouar in their squad this season.
The 24-year-old is a classy operator and will surely make plenty of appearances in the Forest midfield this term.
Having said that, there will be fierce competition for places in the centre of the park. Cooper already has Lewis O’Brien, Kouyate, Orel Mangala and Jack Colback in midfield, plus other options. Freuler is set to join too.
This means Aouar will have to start strongly if he is to make an impact on the team.
The France international is used to competing in European competition. Due to this, he will look to impress top teams before potentially getting a big-money move away from Forest in the future.
Arsenal will be frustrated to see Aouar move to a rival top-flight club. However, they have midfield targets of their own.
The north London side want to capture Youri Tielemans from Leicester City. They are taking time to begin negotiations though and this is causing concern in the Tielemans camp.