Nottingham Forest are plotting a double raid on Huddersfield Town, with Harry Toffolo in their sights just a matter of weeks after inflicting play-off final misery on the Terriers.
The Tricky Trees are back in the big time after an absence of 23 long years. After years in the wilderness, Steve Cooper’s side will bring a new element to the Premier League – and a bit of an unknown quantity too. However, cup results last season against the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool – whom they beat and pushed close, respectively – certainly give hope.
They will obviously need to strengthen their ranks, however, with some astute additions needed. To that end, three additions have already been made with Taiwo Awoniyi arriving in a club-record deal. Dean Henderson and Guliane Biacone have also arrived, while Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Vinagre is also reportedly on their shopping list.
However, their next two signings could come from familar opponents in Huddersfield Town.
First up is Toffolo, who enjoyed an excellent season playing at left-back for Town.
The 26-year-old has been with Huddersfield since 2020, but his deal was due to expire this summer. Thankfully for Town, they had a one-year option on that agreement which they triggered in June.
But with just a year left on that deal, they are vulnerable to his exit. To that end, we reported how Town are looking to further extend his stay amid plenty of interest in the player.
Now Forest are right at the front of that queue, as per the Daily Mail.
The Reds are also looking to sign Lewis O’Brien, who has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds. The 23-year-old has been on Leeds’ radar for some time, though it appears they are now looking elsewhere.
As a result, Forest are reportedly preparing an opening offer of £10m to test Huddersfield’s resolve.
Whether that will be enough to tempt Town remains to be seen. They reportedly value O’Brien at nearer the £12m mark.
The two players both saw penalty appeals turned down during their play-off final defeat to Forest too.
Harry Toffolo, Lewis O’Brien would be smart signings
If Cooper and Co can get these deals over the line, the two players would be smart additions for Forest. They were arguably the two star men in Huddersfield’s surprise run to the play-off final – and certainly looked capable of playing at a higher level.
O’Brien, in particular, is a class act. A midfielder full of running, sharp in the tackle and with a good eye for a pass, it is easy to see why he came in for monitoring from Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds.
Ultimately, that move to Elland Road did not materialise – but that has not stopped the player’s apparent desire to reach the Premier League.
Now he could achieve that goal with a move to Forest.
From Cooper’s point of view, he is recruiting in the right way. Forest face a tough task in avoiding an immediate return to the Championship. However, by signing energetic, hungry and talented Championship stars, they are giving themselves a fighting chance. Harry Toffolo is a perfect example of that.
Having waited so long for their Premier League chance again, the club will be desperate to ensure their return to the big time is not a brief one.