Nottingham Forest might have been handed a boost in their pursuit to sign Maxime Esteve. L’Equipe claims that Montpellier are preparing a move to sign Boubakar Kouyate from Metz and that could pave the way for a departure.

The Premier League outfit have tried to sign the centre-back already this month. A bid of around £10 million was rejected earlier this month; with the Ligue 1 outfit only willing to let him leave if they get a replacement sorted.

Esteve is viewed as one of the most highly-rated defenders in Ligue 1. He has been a regular in the team this season, making 16 appearances in the French top flight.

Forest boost Esteve
(Photo; Sylvain Lefevre; Getty Images)

The central defender is a former France youth international. He’s spent his entire career with Montpellier and has risen through the ranks with their youth academy.

Now, he’s drawing attention from the Premier League, with Forest keen to sign him. Esteve has other clubs monitoring his situation, although the only bid so far has come from the Reds.

Forest are in the market for a new defender this month. That search has been intensified recently after Willy Boly limped out of the League Cup quarter-final against Wolves with an injury problem.

Forest handed boost in quest to sign Esteve

This would be an intriguing signing. Having already had a young French defender on loan for the first half of the season in Loic Bade, this might be a risk.

Esteve would have to prove himself but Bade never got the chance to do that. The youngster would be a permanent addition though and that perhaps means that Forest would be more invested in playing him.

Forest boost Esteve
(Photo; PASCAL GUYOT; AFP; Getty Images)

Once Montpellier add Kouyate to their ranks, perhaps the speculation will intensify. Forest could then return with another bid, however, it may need to be increased from the last offer.

Another defender would definitely be ideal and it will be interesting to see if Esteve ends up as a Reds player before the end of the window.

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