Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has claimed that Nottingham Forest have held talks with Mainz over defender Moussa Niakhate.
The Reds are looking to bolster their defensive ranks during the summer transfer window as they prepare for life in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old has just a year to run on his existing deal. During 2021/22 he was the Mainz captain and made 30 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit.
Forest aren’t the first club to show interest in Niakhate. He was linked with Everton and West Ham recently with both clubs eyeing up £8 million moves.
It was also claimed recently that he’d relish the chance to move to the Premier League and reportedly turned down a move to Wolfsburg.
Niakhate is an uncompromising defender. He also plays out from the back particularly well and is a menace when it comes to aerial challenges.
It’s not really a surprise to see Forest target another central defender. Joe Worrall, Scott McKenna and Steve Cook are the three who won the team promotion last season.
Tobias Figueiredo has been released; whilst Jonathan Panzo and Loic Mbe Soh look very much like players with one eye on the future.
Worrall and McKenna look ideal for the Premier League but Cook could be seen as more of a useful option in reserve next season.
Niakhate is unlikely to cost a fortune given his contract situation and he will almost certainly get a pay rise on his £12,000-a-week deal at Mainz.
Forest hold talks over Niakhate and he could be useful
This link smacks of George Syrianos working his magic behind the scenes. The overseas recruitment chief spent some time working with Stuttgart before coming to the City Ground.
Now, he’s planning a raid on the Bundesliga to sign Niakhate and bolster Cooper’s defensive ranks.
It may sound harsh on Cook but perhaps a younger option will be sought to be first choice next season.
Niakhate has vast experience and the fact he is the Mainz captain perhaps tells a story.
The player is a leader in his own right and this could prove to be a very shrewd piece of transfer business by Forest.