‘Done deal!’ – Forest set to sign Liverpool-linked midfielder as teammate snubs Premier League chance

Jason Soutar
Ibrahim Sangare and Johan Bakayoko with the Nottingham Forest and Brentford badges.
PSV duo Ibrahim Sangare and Johan Bakayoko with the Nottingham Forest and Brentford badges.

Nottingham Forest have reportedly agreed a deal to sign PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, who has attracted interest from Liverpool.

Sangare is one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe and helped PSV qualify for the Champions League with a 7-3 play-off aggregate victory over Rangers.

The Ivorian midfielder has been linked with a host of clubs this summer, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich both believed to be keen.

Bayern have since turned their attention to Fulham’s Joao Palhinha, with Ryan Gravenberch joining the Reds from the German outfit in what has been a bit of a midfield domino effect in recent hours.

Sangare would be one hell of a coup for Nottingham Forest, who have been extremely busy on deadline day, completing the loan signing of Arsenal left-back Nuno Tavares.

Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and Benfica goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos are expected to follow Tavares through the door on Friday.

The best signing of the day would undoubtedly be PSV midfielder Sangare, who is expected to join Forest for around £30million. Bargain.

First broken by Sky Germany correspondent Florian Plettenberg, it is a ‘done deal’ and Sangare can be regarded as a ‘new player of Forest’.

Plettenberg says the Ivorian international will pen a five-year contract at the City Ground.

The transfer has also been reported by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who says Forest are ‘closing in’ on the signing, with Hudson-Odoi and Vlachodimos ‘also joining the club’.

Meanwhile, over at Foot Mercato, French journalist Santi Aouna claims the deal is almost complete after Sangare accepted a move to the Premier League side, despite having Champions League football on offer in Eindhoven.

It has also been widely reported that Sangare’s PSV teammate Johan Bakayoko will not leave the club before Friday’s 11pm transfer deadline.

Bakayoko has been linked with Liverpool, Burnley and Brentford over the last week or so.

The Clarets reportedly had a £17m bid rejected by PSV, with the Bees swooping in on Thursday night with a £34m offer.

Romano said Brentford were ‘on the verge’ of signing Bakayoko, who also starred against Rangers.

This now appears to be unlikely, with the 20-year-old Belgian valuing Champions League football with PSV over mid-table mediocrity in the Premier League.

Romano says Brentford will likely go back in for Bakayoko in January, though this should depend on whether or not the Dutch club make it out of their Champions League group.

The Italian journalist wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Johan Bakayoko has communicated to Brentford that he’s NOT joining them. Final decision confirmed.

“Despite deal almost agreed between clubs, Bakayoko decides to stay at PSV in order to play Champions League football.

“Brentford remain keen on signing him in January.”

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