Nottingham Forest are now slipping further down the pecking order in the race to sign Bristol City star Antoine Semenyo.
Celtic have held talks with the player’s representatives, whilst Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg are now interested too, Football Scotland confirms.
Forest started the interest in Semenyo on transfer deadline day. The Reds saw a low offer rejected for the youngster who is valued at £20 million.
That was rejected and now interest is emerging from higher-profile clubs who can offer European competition.
Semenyo has been in fine form for the Robins this season, despite a relative campaign of struggle under Nigel Pearson.
He has earned himself a regular place in the team since the turn of the year, scoring six goals and claiming eight assists.
Semenyo spent the second half of last season on loan at Sunderland, linking up with former Bristol City boss Lee Johnson.
He made seven outings at the Stadium of Light but didn’t register a goal contribution.
Semenyo is very raw but at 22-years-old plenty of clubs are viewing him as a potentially prolific player in the future.
His contract situation is a cause for concern for his current club. In the summer he will have just a year remaining and that makes the Robins vulnerable.
Forest losing battle to sign Semenyo
Celtic look set to be in the Champions League alongside Red Bull Salzburg next season and both clubs would provide attractive propositions.
Forest are on the up under Steve Cooper but they won’t be paying £20 million for a player who has only really burst onto the scene in the last six months.
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If he goes for less, the Reds will likely remain in the race. Right now, however, Celtic and Salzburg will be holding the aces.
Still, this link does represent a positive shift in strategy.
For far too long, the Reds have targeted unproven players from overseas countries and Semenyo is at least proven in the Championship.
It could be back to the drawing board for the Reds and it’ll be interesting to see where the young Bristol City forward ends up.