Reports claim Nottingham Forest have opened talks to sign Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi following his superb season for the German side.
Forest are looking to add quality to their ranks after securing promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. It will be tough for the East Midlanders and, with that in mind, they are looking at 24-year-old Awoniyi. The Nigeria international bagged 20 goals in all competitions for Die Eisernen last term. And 15 of those came in the Bundesliga.
It helped his side finish fifth in the table and secure a spot in the Europa League. But the talented forward may not be around to feature in Europe’s second-tier competition.
The Guardian are reporting that dialogue has already begun about taking him to the City Ground ahead of the new campaign. He has a release clause of £17.2m and it remains to be seen if the top-flight new boys match it.
Liverpool signed the African as a teenager back in August 2015 but he never kicked a ball for the Reds. He was immediately loaned out to FSV Frankfurt for the 2015-2016 season, making 13 Bundesliga 2 appearances and scoring once.
It was the first of several loan spells for the Ilorin-born youngster. He enjoyed a temporary stint at Dutch club NEC and two spells at Belgian outfit Mouscron either side of six months at Gent.
Awoniyi inked a new long-term Anfield deal in summer 2018 but was still not part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans. He was loaned to Mainz 05 for 2019-2020 before Union Berlin gave him his seventh temporary spell away from Merseyside.
The Stadion An der Alten Forsterei outfit then handed him permanent terms in July 2021.
Liverpool to benefit from Awoniyi Forest move
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has been lauded for the way he turned things around at the club, taking them from the foot of the Championship to the play-offs. A 1-0 triumph over Huddersfield Town in the play-off final saw the two-time European champions return to the Premier League.
They will now face the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. And the latter will receive 10 per cent of the transfer fee paid by Forest for Awoniyi if he does move this summer.
Forest are not the only club keen on the man with four Nigeria caps. Several European outfits are said to be monitoring his situation.
However, the player’s previous comments that he is keen to try his luck in England will give Forest the edge. West Ham, Newcastle United and Southampton were all linked back in May but it is Cooper who is making the first move.