Nottingham Forest reject ‘club record offer’ from Brentford for Johnson as Cooper lines up midfielder bid

Joe Williams
Brentford transfer target Brennan Johnson
Brentford have had two bids turned down for Brennan Johnson.

Nottingham Forest have turned down an offer for Brennan Johnson from Brentford, according to reports, with Steve Cooper keen on keeping the forward.

The Wales international impressed in his first Premier League season with eight goals and three assists as newly promoted Forest survived their first season back in the top flight.

That form has seen Johnson linked with a move to Forest’s Premier League rivals Brentford with Cooper’s side rejecting an opening £30m bid on the first day of the transfer window.

And now the Bees are back with an improved offer with John Percy of the Daily Telegraph reporting that Forest have ‘rejected a club record offer worth up to £40m from Brentford’ for Johnson.

The bid was ‘instantly turned down’ with Forest looking for ‘over £50m’ if they entertain selling him this summer with the East Midlands club taking a ‘hardline stance’ on both offers.

Percy adds: ‘It is understood the second offer was worth a guaranteed £35 million with instalments and incentives then taking the total price closer to £40 million.’

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With Ivan Toney suspended until January 17 for breaching the Football Association’s gambling rules, Brentford are keen to bring in extra attacking talent with Johnson top of their list.

The Bees have a long-term interest in Johnson after they made ‘at least three offers’ for the Wales international while Forest were in the Championship.

Cooper gave an update on Johnson’s ankle injury after a pre-season friendly against Leeds on Thursday night: “Brennan is making decent progress in terms of the plan for his recovery.

“We are hoping that he’ll be back training with us next week at some stage so that’s good.

“That will give him a couple of weeks to get some training and maybe some game-time under his belt to get him available for the start of the season which is what we want.

“He’s working hard and is as keen to get back as we are for him to be back with us.”

Forest have targets of their own, of course, with PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Sangare one player on their summer shortlist.

And ESPN journalist Milan van Dongen is reporting that Nottingham Forest “seem to want to pay” the €37.5m that it would take for PSV to accept an offer this summer.

On the transfer situation at PSV, Van Dongen said: “It is indeed reasonably quiet.

“There will not be a cartload of players from Eindhoven, but the most likely is of course Ibrahim Sangaré. If €37.5 million is offered, PSV actually has nothing to say.

“Nottingham Forest seems to want to pay that amount, but Sangaré must also want to. Moreover, that amount has not yet been deposited.”