Nottingham Forest promotion puts high hurdle in way of Leeds United pursuit of Brennan Johnson
Leeds United will have to come up with an extremely attractive offer if they are to continue with their pursuit of Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson.
The Daily Mail reported at the weekend (28 May) that the club were “following the situation closely” with regards to the Welsh international who has 12 months left on his contract.
But after a 1-0 win at Wembley in the Championship playoff final against Huddersfield on Sunday (29 May), Forest have been promoted to the Premier League.
The result sparked controversy as the retiring Jon Moss failed to award the Terriers a penalty despite strong shouts on two occasions, leading former PGMOL chief Keith Hackett to admit he “shudders to think” of the referee moving into his new role managing officials (Telegraph).
The 21-year-old scored 19 goals with nine assists in all competitions this year, and reportedly told the crowd at celebrations in the city afterwards, via Nottinghamshire Live: “Yesterday was the best day of my life. I can’t wait to play here next season.”
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His output and his versatility – he has played in a variety of attacking positions this season including both flanks and behind a striker – make Johnson a very attractive prospect for a number of clubs.
With the Whites facing up to the prospect of losing their star offensive player in Raphinha there is potentially a major hole to fill.
The Forest youngster is not yet at the level of United’s Brazilian star, but with age on his side he looks likely to develop even further.
His attachment to the side where he has been since he was a boy is understandable, and the joy of reaching the top flight with them would no doubt make it very difficult to prize him away from the City Ground.
But as Leeds fans will be well aware as the concerning rumblings around a Kalvin Phillips grow that it is not automatically enough to keep a player at a club.
It would surely have to be a major offer to both club and player to land Johnson this summer, but dependent on him signing a new contract, the next two windows will be important.
If Forest struggle on their return to the top flight after more than two decades away they would be in a similar position as United were this season, as relegation would likely strip them of their stars.
Jesse Marsch would have to ensure that his own side are avoiding the same fate but if they are in a significantly stronger position than the Reds come January or next summer, revisiting the Johnson pursuit as they have done with the likes of Brenden Aaronson could be very likely.
In other Leeds United news, the club need the 49ers investment as soon as possible with time running out at the club for star players.