Nottingham Forest transfer is mooted as Nuno assesses squad

Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Taiwo Awoniyi is reportedly a target of Nottingham Forest's Premier League rivals West Ham United this summer as Nuno Espirito Santo carefully conducts an audit of the squad he inherited following his arrival midway through the recently ended campaign.

Forest have already bid farewell to out of contract trio Felipe, Cheikhou Kouyate and Wayne Hennessey upon the expiry of their deals and loan quintet Divock Origi, Rodrigo Ribeiro, Gonzalo Montiel, Gio Reyna and Nuno Tavares have returned to their respective parent clubs.

Forest have already begun working on who will be in the squad next term; Willy Boly has signed a new deal and Ola Aina has seen a contract extension clause in his original deal triggered, but there'll inevitably be more ins and outs over the course of the coming months as Forest prepare for their third successive campaign back in the top flight.

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One such player whose future will come under the spotlight is that of Awoniyi. The striker arrived ahead of the club's return to the Premier League and cost them in the region of £17m when he arrived from Union Berlin. Awoniyi agreed a five-year contract, of which there remain three years. He enjoyed a decent first campaign, netting 11 goals in all competitions - including six in the final four matches as Forest stormed to safety.

Last season he scored six and assisted three more in 20 appearances of what was an injury-hit season. Awoniyi was recently asked about his future, prior to Forest securing their top flight status for another year, and the Nigerian didn't appear to rule out the possibility of a move: “That’s a tough one, for me I am still under contract at Nottingham Forest, for sure I am here. For now I am a player of Nottingham Forest.”

West Ham have just parted with David Moyes and have appointed former Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui as his successor. Reports now claim that the Spaniard is interested in bringing Awoniyi to East London to compete with Michail Antonio for a place in the starting XI as a leader of the line, who is flanked by the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus.

Whenever Awoniyi has been missing through injury this past season, Nuno - and previously Steve Cooper - has been able to turn to Chris Wood. The Kiwi bagged 16 goals this past season, including a hat-trick in the win at Newcastle which gave Nuno's tenure lift-off and then a final day brace at relegated Burnley.

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