Moussa Niakhaté Opens Negotiations With Nottingham Forest

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Nottingham Forest has made a preliminary offer for Mainz defender Moussa Niakhate, according to Bild. The newly-promoted Premier League side reportedly offered less than €10 million, which was less than M05’s asking price. The Bundesliga club is looking for roughly €15 million for its captain, who is nearing the end of his contract. 

A contract extension is improbable, and Mainz expects Niakhate to leave this summer, albeit they are not in a hurry to sell. West Ham United and Everton are also keeping an eye on the central defender’s current position.

Moussa Niakhaté Opens Negotiations With Nottingham Forest

The 21-year-old, who spent 2021-22 on loan from Middlesbrough at Nottingham Forest, was mostly used as an all-action wing-back who, under Steve Cooper’s guidance, was encouraged to dominate the right-hand side and excelled in that role. He is gaining the attention of England’s elite, with Tottenham Hotspur reportedly interested in signing the England Under-21 star, though rumors that Antonio Conte’s team has negotiated a fee with Boro are premature.

Moussa Niakhaté Opens Negotiations With Nottingham Forest

Last week, Sky Germany reported that Nottingham Forest and Niakhate had reached a verbal agreement. Since his €6 million moves from Metz in 2018, the 26-year-old has appeared in 135 games for Mainz in all competitions. Last season, the former French youth international only missed four Bundesliga games and has established himself as a defensive staple. Jeremiah St. Juste left Mainz for Sporting CP for €10 million this summer, although Bochum’s Maxim Leitsch was brought in as a substitute.

Nottingham Forest is working on a prospective transfer for 1. FSV Mainz 05 center-back and captain Moussa Niakhate as they prepare for their return to the Premier League. Forest is apparently in talks with the defender and his team about a possible move to the City Ground in the run-up to their first season back in the top tier of English football since the 1998-99 campaign, wanting to improve in crucial areas such as center-back.

Forest is thought to be up against heavy competition from West Ham and Everton, who are both on the lookout for defensive reinforcements this summer. David Moyes’ side is looking to acquire a potential first-choice partner for Kurt Zouma, while Everton is anticipating the loss of Michael Keane and want to replace him if he leaves Goodison Park.

Forest manager Steve Cooper will undoubtedly be pleased with Forest’s proactive approach to the current summer window, with Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson all but certain to join the club, and Liverpool youngster Neco Williams and unwanted Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles remaining on the radar. After helping Forest achieve promotion back to the Premier League, the club missed out on a chance to bring Middlesbrough star Djed Spence back on a full-time deal, with Tottenham leading the race to sign.

However, a player with Niakhate’s profile and experience would be a bit of a coup for Forest, as the former French youth international has made a total of 135 appearances for Die Nullfunfer, averaging 32 appearances per season for the last four seasons after a standout season with FC Metz. Forest Niakhate, a set-piece specialist with a balanced defensive profile and leadership qualities, could be a key player as the club looks to avoid relegation in 2017-18.

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