Croatian first division side Dinamo Zagreb have confirmed Nottingham Forest’s loan-to-buy bid for 21-year-old forward Sandro Kulenovic according to Sportske Novosti, with the outlet previously reporting an offer had been launched by the East Midlands side.
Kulenovic produced 11 goal contributions for Zagreb last season, bagging himself seven goals and four assists in 29 top-flight appearances and becoming a vital asset to Damir Krznar’s men as they secured the Prva HNL title.
However, with this interest from the Championship, they could potentially see the young forward head to England this summer after being subject of previous scrutiny from Barnsley last summer.
20 questions about some of Nottingham Forest’s biggest ever moments in their history – Can you score full marks?
Although former Tykes boss Gerhard Struber made Barnsley’s interest clear to the local media, Chris Hughton’s side have seemingly gone one step further in the last few days and submitted an offer in a bid to tempt Kulenovic away from his native country.
Nottingham Forest had the second-worst attacking record in the Championship last season, coming just behind strugglers and arch-rivals Derby County. With that, the Irish manager is on the prowl for an injection of attacking firepower and could see the young Croatian as a viable and affordable option.
Sportske Novosti have reported the bid submitted by Forest is a loan-to-buy agreement, echoing The Athletic reporter Paul Taylor’s information on this potential deal, and would make sense considering the second-tier side’s tight budget amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Forest were so, so poor going forward last season even with options like Joe Lolley, Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor all available as options to Chris Hughton.
The manager and attacking players need to take their fair share of the blame for the club’s poor 17th-place finish because their defence was reasonably solid – and could have guided them to a top-half finish if it wasn’t for their lack of threat in front of goal.
The return of winger Brennan Johnson, who scored 13 goals and recorded 14 assists in all competitions for Lincoln City last season, will be a huge boost to the East Midlands side. But they can’t rely on the 20-year-old to be their main threat and must bring in another striker to capitalise on his creativity.
Johnson is also being linked with a move to Brentford currently, so this could be a vital signing for a side that need different options going forward next term.