Nottingham Forest are believed to have shown an interest in Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, with Reds manager Steve Cooper still seeking to bolster his forward line.
According to Foot Mercato, the City Ground outfit – along with fellow Premier League side Everton – are believed to have enquired about the Frenchman this summer, albeit with the 26-year-old not giving a ‘favourable response’ to any such proposals.
The report adds that the former Celtic striker – who currently has just one year remaining on his existing deal in France – is now ‘seriously considering’ agreeing fresh terms with the Ligue 1 outfit, although a failure to do so could see him sold before the September 1st deadline.
As for Forest, the Midlands club have already invested heavily in both Emmanuel Dennis and Taiwo Awoniyi to help bolster their centre-forward options, although another striker addition could be on the cards with the club’s reported move for Neal Maupay in danger of being hijacked.
Although it could prove a difficult deal to get done, adding Dembele to his ranks would no doubt be a real statement signing for Cooper, with the former Fulham marksman having proven to be a “deadly” presence in front of goal throughout his career, in the words of journalist Rich Fay.
After rising through the ranks at Craven Cottage, the former France under-21 international – who could cost in the region of £25m this summer – was plucked by the Old Firm outfit in 2016, going on to score 51 goals in just 94 games across all fronts for the Hoops.
Having secured a move back to his homeland two years later, the £66k-per-week menace has continued to deliver the goods. He has racked up 67 goals in 144 games for his current club thus far, notably netting 22 goals in just 36 games last season.
Despite that fine form, the one-time Atletico Madrid loanee has seen his future in Lyon plunged into doubt by the return of compatriot Alexandre Lacazette to the club, with the former Arsenal man netting a goal and an assist on his comeback appearance against AC Ajaccio earlier this month.
That uncertainty could well allow Forest to swoop for the “scoring machine” – as dubbed by L’Equipe’s Bertrand Latour – with Cooper having the chance to add both Dembele and current Lyon team-mate Houssem Aouar to his squad, with the latter believed to be nearing a £15m switch to England.
Dubbed “incredible” by serial-winning coach Pep Guardiola, the creative midfielder would add undoubted quality to the Forest ranks, and it’s a mouthwatering thought to imagine the playmaker lining up with Dembele for the Garibaldi.
A duo who have both tasted Champions League football, such experience could well prove vital for the City Ground club this season in their attempts at Premier League survival, while also raising hopes for a potential push further up the table in the coming years.