One-time Nottingham Forest target Merih Demiral is in talks to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli.

According to journalist Santi Aouna, the Atalanta central defender is in negotiations with the Saudi side, in a move that would see him join another former Forest target Roger Ibanez at the club.

The 25-year-old is available for £17 million this summer, with Steve Cooper’s side already having one approach for the Turkish international knocked back.

Demiral featured 28 times for the Italian side last season, scoring once.

He joined Atalanta on a permanent basis last summer, after spending the 2021/22 season on loan at the club from Juventus.

US Salernitana v Atalanta BC - Serie A
Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Is a deal for Merih Demiral highly unlikely?

The 25-year-old versatile defender rejected a move to Steve Cooper’s side during the January transfer window before the Reds returned with a new offer earlier this summer.

The Reds have a decent catalogue of central defenders. Felipe and Moussa Niakhate formed a solid partnership towards the end of last season, with Joe Worrall also proving himself as a capable Premier League defender.

Forest will want more though as reflected by their targets of late. However, if they are to improve their backline, options elsewhere may need to be explored.

Merih Demiral of Atalanta Bc during warm up before the Serie...
Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

A move to the City Ground clearly isn’t of interest to the 6ft 4in central defender, coupled with the potential package Saudi Arabia could offer him financially, would make any potential move for the Turisk international pointless.

With deals for Demiral and Ibanez now all but over, Forest can’t lose faith and must turn their attention to other targets to help bolster the Reds’ rearguard.