June 16, 2024

Nottingham Forest ‘offer’, talks held, career so far – Alexander Djiku transfer interest assessed

Latest Nottingham Forest transfer news as Steve Cooper’s Reds face key summer window

 

Ghana's Alexander Djiku hopes to keep centre-back position at Strasbourg  for remainder of the season - Ghana Latest Football News, Live Scores,  Results - GHANAsoccernet

 

 

Nottingham Forest are said to have made a contract offer to defender Alexander Djiku as they look to strengthen their ranks.

The 28-year-old is a free agent as his deal with Strasbourg officially expires at the end of this month. The Reds are reportedly keen to secure his services, but they face competition for his signature.

So who is the latest player linked with a move to the City Ground? Here, we take a look at Djiku and why he is seemingly on Forest’s radar.

Career so far

The centre-back came up through the ranks at French side Bastia. He made the step up to the senior team in 2014, going on to make 45 league appearances for the club.

A move to Caen followed in 2017, before Strasbourg snapped him up two years later. It was a deal said to be worth 8 million euros (£6.8m).

Djiku has been a key player during his time in the east of France, making more than 120 appearances for Strasbourg. As captain, he was an integral figure as they avoided dropping into Ligue 2 last season, featuring 31 times and scoring one goal.

A Ghana international, he made his debut for his country in 2020. He was part of the squad which went to last year’s Qatar World Cup, with his only start coming in the 3-2 defeat to Portugal which also saw recently-released striker Andre Ayew in the XI.

Transfer interest

Djiku is in demand as he plots his next move. The Reds are not the only club eyeing him up.

Strasbourg are particularly keen for him to stay put, according to L’Equipe. They are trying to convince their skipper to sign a contract extension.

The reports from France suggest they hope to seal the deal by being able to put forward a significantly improved financial package. Last week’s announcement of investment in the club by the consortium BlueCo, which purchased Chelsea last year, is said to have granted the Ligue 1 side additional resources.

 

Alexander Djiku ruled out of Strasbourg's game against AS Monaco

 

As well as having to compete with Strasbourg, Forest may also have to fight off interest from elsewhere. Lille, Besiktas and Mainz are all said to have their sights on Djiku.

Earlier this month, GhanaSoccernet reported Lille had approached the player’s agent about a possible move. They added Besiktas’ management travelled to France in May to meet with the man himself and discuss the prospect of a summer switch, while Trabzonspor and TSG Hoffenheim were also credited with an interest.

Forest’s transfer window

It is a key summer for the Reds. The focus is on quality over quantity when it comes to making signings.

Although bolstering other areas will be higher up on the club’s to-do list, strengthening at centre-back is a possibility. Forest need to tighten up in defence if they are to push on in the top-flight next term.

They do have a number of central defenders currently on the books, but several of them will see their contracts expire in 12 months’ time. That means decisions will soon need to be made over whether to offer fresh terms or to try to cash-in, rather than risk seeing players leave for nothing.

Joe Worrall, Loic Mbe Soh, Scott McKenna, Steve Cook, Willy Boly and Felipe have deals which run until 2024. Jonathan Panzo is under contract until 2025, but has been attracting interest from Rangers following his loan spell at Coventry City. Moussa Niakhate is the only other centre-back tied down beyond next year, with a contract until 2025, plus an option for another 12 months beyond that. Giulian Biancone is also capable of playing in central defence and also has a deal until 2025.

Versatility is likely to be important for any potential defensive recruits. Head coach Steve Cooper switched between playing three at the back and a four-man defence as Forest adapted to the Premier League.

 

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