Nottingham Forest are said to be interested in a deal to sign Dinamo Zagreb striker Sandro Kulenovic, according to a report from Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti.
The 21-year-old has been with the Croatian club since 2019 and has caught the eye with some strong performances whilst on loan with Rijeka, which evidently hasn’t gone unnoticed. He scored eight goals and was on hand to provide six assists for Rijeka, who finished third in the Croatian top flight last term.
However, he hasn’t been included in Dinamo’s matchday squad for their last two matches in the openign weeks of the 2021/22 campaign, which could hint that his future lies away from the Croatian champions this summer.
The Athletic’s Paul Taylor has confirmed that Nottingham Forest’s newly-appointed chief executive Dane Murphy could be the reason behind their interest, with Kulenovic previously being a transfer target for Barnsley whilst the American was at Oakwell.
Taylor also revealed that either a loan with a view to buy, or a straight purchase, is also possible for Forest this summer.
Nottingham Forest finished 17th in the Championship last season in what was a frustrating league campaign for the City Ground faithful.
Chris Hughton often played with just one striker in his team, with Lewis Grabban being heavily relied upon to be their attacking threat, although he struggled at times to repay the faith shown by his manager.
Grabban only netted six goals in 29 appearances for the Reds last term, which doesn’t make the best of reading, especially when he had shown earlier in his career that he can score goals consistently in the Championship.
The 33-year-old scored 20 goals in total for Forest in the 2019/20 season as they missed out on a play-off finish on the final day of the campaign, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Hughton looking to add much-needed depth to his attacking options, with Lyle Taylor’s future at the City Ground remaining somewhat up in the air.
Kulenovic could be the ideal player to come in and challenge Grabban for his starting spot, with the Croatian forward showing that he has an eye for goal, having netted eight goals in the 2020/21 season.
The striker stands at 1.91m tall (6 foot 3) and won an average of 2.4 aerial duels per game whilst averaging just shy of four duels in total per game whilst on loan with Rijeka according to Sofascore. Grabban averaged 0.5 aerial duels won during the 2020/21 Championship season, which isn’t the best for a striker who is leading the line on his own.
Therefore, you can understand Forest’s thinking behind this potential deal, as the prodigious Kulenovic could be the dream alternative to Grabban if the veteran marksman fails to produce the goods over the coming months.