Nottingham Forest youngster Brennan Johnson has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Barnsley, according to The Athletic’s Paul Taylor.
The 20-year-old Welshman had a sparkling season on loan at League One side Lincoln City, scoring 11 times and grabbing five assists in a spell that really aided his development on the pitch.
Johnson has only played four league games for Forest in his career but after his stint at the Imps he was expected to come back and battle for a place in Chris Hughton’s starting line-up.
But transfer interest has been swirling for a while, with Premier League trio Brentford, Leeds United and Leicester City all showing a liking for the attacking midfielder.
However it is a Championship rival of Forest in Barnsley, who have just lost their CEO to the City Ground in the form of American Dane Murphy, who have already set their stall out in terms of their interest.
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Per Taylor, the Tykes are willing to pay £2 million to take Johnson from the Tricky Trees, which isn’t expected to even come close to testing Forest’s resolve but it may pave the way for other bids to come from bigger teams.
It’s thought that Forest value Johnson at around £10 million so Barnsley’s idea of a transfer fee for the two-cap international is far below what it will take to prize him away from the City Ground.
It seems pretty insulting that Barnsley would only be prepared to pay £2 million for Johnson seeing as though he’s got Premier League interest and just because of how generally exciting he is.
Of course Johnson has only done it at League One level so far but he was 19 years old for the whole campaign and he looked so classy, so he definitely deserves to have a lofty price-tag put on his head.
And if someone wants him bad enough they will pay it – but it will come from the Premier League and not a Championship club like Barnsley who won’t throw tons of money around.
It would be very uncharacteristic of the Tykes to splash out so much and you can imagine that if they really did bid £2 million it would be laughed off in the Forest boardroom.