Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Premier League • England

Nuno nears first Nottingham Forest signing as talks advance for experienced winger once wanted by Arsenal

Gelson Martins and Nuno Espirito Santo

Gelson Martins could become Nuno Espirito Santo's first Nottingham Forest signing

Nottingham Forest are negotiating for Monaco winger Gelson Martins to become their first signing of the Nuno Espirito Santo era, according to multiple reports.

Nuno recently replaced Steve Cooper as head coach at the City Ground and his first signing for his new club could be one of his Portuguese compatriots.

Sources such as A BolaMaisfutebol and L’Equipe are all reporting of their interest in bringing Martins to the Premier League early in the January transfer window.

Maisfutebol claims the negotiations are advanced and L’Equipe also indicates just how close a deal is.

Escaping Monaco will be a relief for Martins, who was frozen out under previous manager Philippe Clement and has been allowed to leave by current boss Adi Hutter.

In fact, Hutter has not given any appearances to the 28-year-old since becoming Monaco’s head coach over the summer.

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Martins is due to become a free agent in the summer anyway, so the fee for his transfer to Nottingham Forest in January would be nominal.

The wide man has made 129 appearances during his Monaco career, which began in January 2019, and has scored 16 goals (but did not get any last season).

Previously, he played for Sporting CP and Atletico Madrid, also earning 21 caps for Portugal (without scoring) between 2016 and 2018.

Martins finally close to first Prem experience

For a long time, Martins was linked with a move to the Premier League, which now looks like it could finally materialise.

Instead of being with someone like Arsenal or Liverpool, as was predicted long ago, it will be with a Nottingham Forest side looking to climb further away from the relegation zone, which they are currently a couple of points above.

Martins is mainly a right winger, which corresponds with the foot he prefers to use, but he is versatile enough to operate on either flank.

Forest could benefit from having a right winger, since Nuno has had to use Divock Origi (a striker) and Anthony Elanga (more of a left winger) there in his first two matches in charge.

Whether or not Martins will be able to make an immediate impact, though, could be up for question. His last appearance was on February 26, when he came on for Monaco in a loss to Nice.

Before he faded from the limelight, Martins earned experience in the Champions League and Europa League. Portugal also included him in their 2018 World Cup squad, where he made one appearance.

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