Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest planning club-record Djed Spence move to keep promotion squad together

Graeme Bailey
Djed Spence has enjoyed his season with Nottingham Forest
Djed Spence has enjoyed his season with Nottingham Forest / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Nottingham Forest plan on keeping their promotion-winning squad together which they hope will include paying a club-record fee for Djed Spence, 90min understands.

Forest came through the Championship play-off final with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town to secure promotion to the Premier League for the first time this century.

Manager Steve Cooper is set to be given substantial funds by the club's owner Evangelos Marinakis.

“Now is the time to give Steve all the ammunition he needs, to be able to not only survive but bring some good results,” said Marinakis at the club's celebrations just 24 hours after winning at Wembley.

“We have to invest more. Everybody talks about the television rights and money that comes in, but it is not enough for clubs in the first year.

“That’s why we must not be the poorer relatives of the Premier League. We need to buy some good players and some that will make the difference and have the experience who know the division.

“We need to be careful how we spend and make the right choices.”

One of the first orders of business is securing the players Cooper wants to keep, and one of the first is Spence.

Spence spent the season on loan from Championship rivals Middlesbrough, with then-manager Neil Warnock not seeing eye-to-eye with him and sending him out.

Now Boro are ready to cash in and his form has attracted strong interest from Arsenal, Tottenham, Brentford, West Ham and Crystal Palace. European big hitters Barcelona and Bayern Munich have also been monitoring the 21-year-old.

However, Forest have always harboured hopes of landing Spence with promotion and 90min sources have confirmed this is their intention.

Middlesbrough would like an overall deal worth in excess of £15m and Forest are ready to fund a move which would break their club record of £13.8m which they paid for Joao Carvalho.

Forest hope and believe the lure of first-team football under Cooper will be enough to persuade Spence to stay permanently.

Indeed, Forest are looking to keep three of their loan stars on permanent deals as another they want to keep is Sheffield United's Max Lowe.

Unlike Spence, his parent club want him back and the Blades are ready to offer him fresh terms, but again Forest hope they can strike a deal for the 25-year-old left-sider.

Forest are also set to hold talks with Watford over a possible move for on-loan Danish midfielder Philip Zinckernagel.

The 27-year-old has played a big part for Cooper's side and they want to talk to the relegated Hornets about keeping him.

Forest know they won't be able to keep Manchester United loanee James Garner permanently, but 90min understands they have already made it clear to the Red Devils they would like him back. If the 21-year-old leaves again on loan, Forest will be given the first option to sign him.


Listen to Talking Transfers, 90min's transfer podcast. On this week's episode, Scott Saunders, Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey discuss Sadio Mane's Liverpool future, Man Utd's interest in Darwin Nunez, Ivan Perisic's move to Spurs and Chelsea's midfield options.


Forest's promotion also means they are now 'very confident' of agreeing a long-term deal with homegrown Welsh star Brennan Johnson.

Failure to secure promotion would have seen Johnson leave with his contract expiring in 2023, but now the 21-year-old is set to be offered a long-term contract.

The club will also look at new deals for central defensive stars Scott McKenna and Joe Worrall, both of whom have attracted Premier League interest in the last 12 months.

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