Premier League side Brentford remain in talks with Nottingham Forest over Welsh international Brennan Johnson but are unwilling to match his £20m valuation, according to 90min.com.
The Telegraph’s John Percy recently reported that the Bees had renewed their interest in the 20-year-old after first monitoring him in the summer – and had submitted a £10m bid in an attempt to lure him to the English capital.
As per Percy, Forest rejected that bid with the second-tier side determined to maintain their current stance that he’s not for sale after seeing him establish himself as a key player at the City Ground this season.
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After playing a key part in League One outfit Lincoln City’s play-off campaign last term, recording 10 goals and 14 assists in 40 league appearances as he took the Imps to within 90 minutes of second-tier football, he has made the jump up to the Championship seamlessly with nine goal contributions in 23 displays so far this season.
Playing a key role alongside Lewis Grabban and Philip Zinckernagel, he has remained as one of the first names under the teamsheet under current boss Steve Cooper, with the Reds losing just one of their first 15 games under the 42-year-old and look set to force their way into the play-off zone.
They are just one point adrift of the top six going into Boxing Day – and The Telegraph’s Percy believes he wants to remain in the East Midlands to play under his fellow Welshman in Cooper – music to Forest fans’ ears after seeing him impress.
Johnson’s father and former forward David confirmed earlier this week that he wouldn’t be for sale, potentially making this deal impossible for Thomas Frank’s side to complete at this stage.
And as per 90min, his current side are confident he will put pen to paper on fresh terms in the East Midlands if they are promotion at the end of the season.
This deal is probably one for the Bees to leave at this stage, because it seems clear Forest won’t be looking to sell him and in their quest to secure their Premier League safety, bringing in someone with no experience in the division can probably wait until the summer.
Next month, they need to focus on the short term and whilst Welshman Johnson is likely to go on to have a successful career in the top tier, he has only just made the transition from League One to the Championship, a big jump in itself.
From the winger’s point of view, there’s no reason for him to rush at 20 years old and although the way he’s adapted to the second tier will give him great hope he could do the same if he made another step up, it would all seem a bit rushed if he went in January and this could damage his career if he fails to hit the ground running.
For the Reds in general, losing him would be a considerable psychological blow after seeing one of their own thrive at the City Ground this term and with the club already needing more attacking firepower regardless of Johnson’s future, his sale would leave them with extra work to do if they want to sustain their current promotion push.
This is why a transfer would be the worst outcome for all parties at this stage.