Nottingham Forest have broken the club’s transfer record to make striker Taiwo Awoniyi their first signing since promotion to the Premier League.
The high-flying newcomers have paid Union Berlin £17million for the Nigeria international who signed a five-year contract at the City Ground after passing a medical on Thursday. Forest beat stiff competition from several clubs in England and Germany for the striker who scored 15 Bundesliga goals last season.
Forest manager Steve Cooper recently met the former Liverpool striker in Athens to discuss how he sees Awoniyi fitting into his squad for their first Premier League campaign in 23 years.
“I am very happy to be here at Nottingham Forest,” said Awoniyi. “It’s always been my dream to play in the Premier League and after talking to Steve Cooper about our ambitions and watching Forest, with their great history, they’re a club I want to be a part of.”
Cooper added: “There has been a lot of interest in Taiwo from other Premier League clubs and other clubs across Europe so we are delighted that he has chosen Nottingham Forest. Our teams Recruitment and coaching staff have been monitoring his progress closely over the past few months. He is a player we truly believe in and look forward to seeing him fulfill his potential and become one of the Premier League’s best strikers with NottinghamForest.
Awoniyi spent six years with Liverpool, who was loaned out to various clubs, before moving permanently to Germany last summer. Premier League runners-up will receive 10% of the fee paid by Forest due to a sell clause.
Awoniyi is expected to be the first of many signings this summer as Forest owners back the club’s recruitment team to build a squad capable of staying in the Premier League.
Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson will arrive on loan for the season. The club made Henderson their No.1 goalkeeper target for the summer after Brice Samba rejected a new contract and are now close to sealing his exit from Forest, with Lens in talks to sign him.
Forest are in talks with German club Mainz over their club captain Moussa Niakhate after seeing an opening bid rejected for the centre-back. There is optimism at Forest that a deal will still be agreed for the former France Under-21 international. They maintain an interest in Wolves winger Morgan Gibbs-White, who impressed on loan at Sheffield United last season but expects to be rivaled by many Premier League clubs for his signature. Forest are also looking to sign a right-back, with Liverpool’s Neco Williams and Manchester City’s Issa Kaboré being the current main candidates.