Report: Leeds battling PL rivals for ‘exciting’ £10m gem, club could cash in
Leeds United are rivalling Leicester City to sign winger Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest this summer, according to The Athletic.
Play-off winners Brentford and Championship side Barnsley are also keen to add the 20-year-old to their ranks. The forward enjoyed a strong run in League One while on loan at Lincoln City last term and now seems ready for a step up.
Johnson struck 13 goals and 14 assists in all competitions and helped the Imps to reach the play-off final. But his assist at Wembley was not enough to beat Blackpool, who came from behind to secure their second-tier return.
Johnson has made eight first-team appearances for Nottingham Forest since his debut in August 2019. But the two-cap Wales international failed to offer any goal involvements before joining Lincoln on loan.
He now returns to the City Ground for pre-season but may find he leaves again in the summer transfer window. Forest consider Johnson, Joe Worrall and Alex Mighten – three homegrown players – to be their most saleable assets.
Forest are considering cashing in on Johnson and his potential despite knowing the creativity he could offer. And Leeds, Leicester, Brentford and Barnsley have all shown varying degrees of interest in the 5 ft 10 playmaker.
Brentford are one of three Premier League clubs who watched Johnson closely last season. But they face a £10million asking price, with the forward under contract for another two years.
TBR’s view: Leeds should edge race for Forest gem Johnson
Victor Orta should strive to see Leeds edge Leicester, Brentford and Barnsley in the race to sign Forest gem Johnson. A £10m fee may be a lot for a 20-year-old who is yet to play in the Premier League, but it is also a sign of his potential.
Johnson showed he has bags of potential during his loan spell at Lincoln last season. He was named the Imps’ Young Player of the Year, while Forest boss Chris Hughton is aware of his ‘exciting’ talents.
Johnson scored and assisted freely in the third-tier to suggest he is now ready to step up and make an impact in the Championship. Doing so would only add more value to his asking price, so buying now may be Leeds’ best option.