Forest make £20m bid for ex-Prem forward; in ‘advanced talks’ with 82-cap free agent

Jason Soutar
Nottingham Forest targets Emmanuel Dennis and Cheikhou Kouyate in action

Nottingham Forest have reportedly made an ‘opening offer’ to sign Watford and Nigeria forward Emmanuel Dennis.

The 24-year-old signed a five-year deal at Vicarage Road when he joined the club from Club Brugge for £3.6million last year.

His debut season in the Premier League was one to remember despite the Hornets’ relegation.

In 33 league matches, Dennis scored ten and assisted six, but could only find the back of the net twice in his last 17 appearances of the campaign.

Unsurprisingly, interest has been high this summer, though he has started both of Watford’s Championship encounters in 2022/23.

The Nigerian international failed to score or assist in his first two appearances of the new season, but one player who has contributed in both fixtures is Ismaila Sarr.

Sarr assisted his side’s only goal in their victory at home to Sheffield United in matchday one before scoring a superb goal from his own half at West Brom on Monday night.

He has been linked with both Manchester United and Leeds United this week.

French outlet Foot Mercato reckon Sarr is close to joining Leeds for around £23.6m, meanwhile, the Daily Mail report that United chief Darren Fletcher was in attendance to watch the Senegalese winger against West Brom.

Watford’s promotion push could take a huge hit with the departures of Sarr and Dennis, though they will have time to reinvest that money before the transfer window closes.

According to The Athletic, Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest have made a bid worth around £20m for Dennis.

Forest and West Ham have both registered an interest in the player this summer.

Watford are willing to let Dennis leave for the ‘right price’ and have been since their relegation was confirmed.

The report adds that Forest will likely meet Watford’s valuation as he looks set to become the Reds’ 13th signing of a busy summer window.

Furthermore, Foot Mercato journalist Santi Aouna has said a deal is ‘almost done’ and could be ‘closed’ this weekend.

Another player Forest have been linked with this week is former Crystal Palace midfielder and Sarr’s Senegal teammate, Cheikhou Kouyate.

The 32-year-old is a free agent following the expiry of his contract at Selhurst Park.

Football Insider have claimed that Forest are in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Kouyate as Steve Cooper looks to add some experience to his midfield.

Kouyate – who has also been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia – has made over 250 appearances in the top flight and has 82 caps for his country.