Nottingham Forest are close to adding exciting French youngster Ilyas El Khabchi to their ranks, according to Team Talk.

The 21-year-old was playing his football with Jura Dolois in the fifth tier of French football. He was never contracted to them, however, and took the plunge to try and earn a contract in England.

Boss Sabri Lamouchi opted to run the rule over the youngster on trial and he is keen for the club to hand him a deal before any other interested parties begin to surface.

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The central midfield player is set to be signed on an initial deal until the end of the 2019/20 campaign and will join Jimmy Gilligan’s under-23 team to try and earn an extension.

Forest boast a proud history when it comes to producing younger players, whilst they have also recruited well from the European market this summer.

Lamouchi will hope he impresses sufficiently with the under-23 ranks this season and become part of the first-team picture in the future.

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Given the success which the football club experienced with recruitment during the summer, very few supporters will begrudge Forest taking a punt here.

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Coming from the fifth tier of French football will probably indicate a settling in period at the City Ground. A free-flowing under-23 team who currently sit top of their league, however, should at least give him some freedom to express himself.

El Khabchi isn’t a household name but then neither were Brice Samba, Samba Sow or Alfa Semedo when they put pen-to-paper on deals at Forest during the summer.

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Supporters will undoubtedly trust the recruitment team to attract the very best players and what is also interesting here is the reported length of the contract.

Gone seem to be the days of players earning stupid money for three of four years as was the case under previous regimes. If El Khabchi is serious about staying at Forest beyond the end of this season, he will need to impress for the under-23 outfit.

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