With 17 days to go until the closing of the summer transfer window, Nottingham Forest still need to sign at least three new players to add depth to the squad.

Steve Cooper’s side should be looking to add a central defender, left-back, central midfielder and potentially another attacker to provide cover for Taiwo Awoniyi.

An option the Reds should target at the back is Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap.

The ‘athletic‘ 21-year-old has been the subject of interest from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, but they are unwilling to match the Saints’ £17 million valuation.

With talks stalling for the German international, Forest should submit an offer for the defender, testing the Championship’s sides’ resolve.

Newcastle United v Southampton FC - Premier League
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Who is Armel Bella-Kotchap?

Bella-Kotchap came through the ranks at German side VfL Bochum, before joining Southampton for a fee in the region of £10 million last summer.

The German international, who is under contract until 2026, made 26 appearances for the Saints last campaign, as they suffered relegation to the Championship.

21-year-old Bella Kotchap made his senior Germany debut against England in September 2022, before being included in their World Cup squad for Qatar.

England v Germany: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
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In the Premier League last season, Bella-Kotchap averaged 5.3 clearances per 90, with 2 interceptions per game.

According to Fbref, the Southampton defender is a similar player to current Reds centre-back Felipe, with his quick and tenacious like play in winning the ball off the opposition.

He would add needed pace to the Forest backline, with his ability to read the play and intercept the ball handy in Cooper’s counter-attacking play style.

£17 million could be a great deal for a German international, who could massively develop under Cooper at Nottingham Forest.