Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Premier League • England

Steve Cooper gets the ball rolling as Forest break transfer record for Taiwo Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi, Union Berlin, April 2022.

Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest have reportedly agreed a club-record deal to sign striker Taiwo Awoniyi from German club Union Berlin.

It was claimed over the weekend that the Reds had opened negotiations with Die Eisernen. And it appears as though the clubs have now struck an accord to send the Nigeria international to the City Ground. Forest chief Steve Cooper has earned a growing reputation as a shrewd manager.

And he knows that the ability to score goals will be vital in what looks set to be a tough season back in the Premier League. Awoniyi found the net on 20 occasions in all competitions during the 2021-2022 campaign.

And the East Midlanders are said to have matched the player’s release clause of £17.5m. That beats the £13.2m they paid Benfica to acquire Joao Carvalho four years ago.

Sky Sports reporter Florian Plettenberg took to Twitter to give his take on the news.

He tweeted: “Verbal agreement with Nottingham. Negotiations ongoing. Release clause as reported on Friday: €20.5m.”

While details are sparse at the moment, it may be that personal terms are still being worked out for his move to England.

Nottingham Forest have beaten a number of European teams to his signature, while West Ham and Newcastle had also been linked. And if the deal is completed, it will be Cooper’s first summer capture since guiding his side to the top flight.

They beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 in the play-off final at Wembley to end a 23-year wait to return to the big time.

Awoniyi finally puts down roots

Awoniyi was on Liverpool’s books between 2015 and 2021 but did not make an appearance for the Reds. Multiple loan moves followed before he penned permanent terms with Union Berlin.

The man with four Super Eagles caps played for FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Mouscron, Gent and Mainz 05. He also enjoyed a temporary spell with Union Berlin before being taken on a permanent basis.

The challenge now will be to prove he can cut it in the Premier League.

He may well come up against his former employers. And Liverpool will net a reported 10 per cent of the transfer fee Forest pay to the Bundesliga outfit.

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper

Awoniyi scored a league goal every two games last term. However, he has been nowhere near as prolific in previous campaigns.

Forest fans will hope that the version they see will be able to replicate his recent scoring prowess.

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