Nottingham Forest 'scout' 21-year-old Belgium international ahead of summer transfer window

Mandela Keita of Antwerp
A man in demand... Mandela Keita of Royal Antwerp is the latest talent linked with a Premier League transfer (Photo by Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images) -Credit:Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

Nottingham Forest have been named amongst a number of clubs, including Manchester United and West Ham, that are reportedly chasing the signature of OH Leuven midfielder Mandela Keita.

Nuno Espirito Santo will want chance to build a team of his own should he help guide Forest to Premier League safety, and the latest claim suggests the manager has had scouts keeping an eye on Belgian Juniper Pro League matches looking at one prodigy in particular.

21-year-old Keita, who has already made his senior Belgium debut under Domenico Tedesco last year, produced stand-out performances that earned him a higher profile loan within his league this year. He has been on loan to sixth-placed Royal Antwerp from 12th-placed Leuven since the January 2023 transfer window.

READ MORE: Who is Pedro Ferreira? Benfica's scouting guru and £1.14bn mastermind linked with Nottingham Forest

READ MORE: Nottingham Forest 'have to consider' Man City plan amid City Ground dispute

Providing strong defensive cover, he has made 26 league appearances in all competitions this year with Antwerp keeping a joint-high total of 12 clean sheets. According to local newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, these performances have now earned recognition across England with suitors lining up this summer.

Scouts from Forest, Man United and West Ham have all reportedly attended matches in which he has featured over recent months, and would be able to offer Premier League football. Meanwhile Leeds United plus Norwich City, who are both vying for promotion via the play-offs, and Blackburn Rovers also have named interest from the Championship.

The Belgian report states that it is unclear as of yet whether any interest in Keita will be formally acted upon once the transfer window opens. However, Forest's midfield will evidently require looking into over the summer as both Cheikhou Kouyate and Harry Arter reach the end of their contracts in June.

Would Mandela Keita be a good signing for Forest? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section HERE