Nottingham Forest have been very quiet in the transfer market with less than two weeks to go until the Championship seasons begins, and fans are hoping that business heats up before they kick off against Coventry City on August 8.
Just one signing has been made by Chris Hughton and that is American goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, who will be looking to provide competition to Brice Samba in-between the City Ground sticks.
There’s so many other areas of concern though that need to be addressed before the transfer window shuts on August 31, with full-backs high on the agenda and a move for Derby County’s Lee Buchanan has so far proved to be unfruitful.
Further up the field is also an issue, with an attacking midfielder, wingers and strikers also needed for Hughton and Forest to be competitive at the top end of the table next season.
One player who has been linked in the last 24 hours is Senegal international M’Baye Niang, who can list the likes of AC Milan, Torino and Watford as his past clubs.
The 26-year-old is currently contracted to Stade Rennais in France, and in the two seasons prior to the 2020-21 campaign he hit double figures in Ligue 1, and it looked as though he was starting to fulfil the promise he showed as a teenager.
Things didn’t happen for Niang last season though and midway through the campaign he was loaned out to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ahli – a loan spell which proved to be unsuccessful.
According to Footmercato, Forest are battling with Celtic and Anderlecht to try and sign Niang from Rennes, however it looks unlikely that the Tricky Trees will win the race for him as according to Alan Nixon, the forward wants ‘loads’ of money to switch clubs.
Whilst Forest can probably pay more in wages than many other Championship outfits, they won’t be held to ransom and according to Salarysport, Niang’s current weekly wage is £62,000 – if true you can understand why they are keen to remove him from the books after a barren 2020-21 season.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Nottingham Forest played at each of these 24 stadiums?
Based on his form from the two seasons before last, Niang would be an exceptional signing for Forest but you get the feeling he would be linked to clubs much higher in the footballing pyramid if he was still in that kind of form.
But it won’t be a bad thing necessarily if Niang’s wage demands scupper a potential deal to bring him to the Championship as there’s plenty of other players out there who won’t be on so much that can make an impact at the City Ground.
There are youngsters at Premier League clubs worth taking a chance on even if it won’t benefit Forest in years to come, whilst there are still some sharp-shooters from League One last season potentially on the market, such as Dion Charles and Luke Jephcott.
Forest do desperately need to strengthen their attack, but they shouldn’t jump in with two feet in a deal for Niang – some thought needs to go into it before any offer for silly money is made.