Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Leeds United and Crystal Palace have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of promising Nottingham Forest youngster Brennan Johnson.
According to the Mirror, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Crystal Palace all look set to be snubbed in their bids to land 20-year-old Championship hotshot Brennan Johnson, with Nottingham Forest stepping up their efforts to tie him down to a new deal.
A product of Nottingham Forest youth setup, Johnson first burst onto the scene during his year-long loan spell at League One outfit Lincoln City where he had a productive 2020/21 campaign, chipping in with 13 goals and 14 assists across all competitions.
Johnson returned from loan to the City Ground last summer, and 2021/22 has been his breakout campaign in the second tier. Despite the step up in quality, the attacking midfielder has taken to the Championship like a fish to water and is regarded as one of the rising stars of the division. He is playing an integral role in Forest’s playoffs push, scoring nine goals and laying on five assists from 32 league outings.
He has also grabbed the headlines with eye-catching performances in the FA Cup, helping Forest claim back-to-back Premier League scalps over Arsenal and Leicester City to progress to the fifth round of the competition so far.
Johnson’s rapid progress has caught the attention of newly-promoted Premier League side Brentford, who had multiple bids rejected by Forest, including a final one of £18 million. The 20-year-old sensation is also being targeted for a summer swoop by a host of other Premier League clubs, including Crystal Palace, Leeds and Newcastle United.
Palace are gradually transforming into an exciting and youthful team under Patrick Vieira and have recruited very well, especially from the Championship, bringing in the likes of Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise in past windows. Johnson could turn out to be yet another fantastic bit of business as he perfectly fits their playing style.
Newcastle, meanwhile, are planning to splash the cash to assemble a highly-competent young side in the summer and could utilise Eddie Howe’s sharp eye for talents in lower leagues. Johnson has the pace and flair to cause menace in the final third and has loads of untapped potential, making him a viable target.
The interest from Leeds is hardly surprising, given that the Whites are sweating over the future of star man Raphinha and may cash in on the Brazilian this summer amid interest from European bigwigs like Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Johnson has shown the quality, confidence and maturity required to operate at the Premier League level, and his versatility could be a real asset for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The Welsh international’s current deal expires next year, but with competition for Johnson’s services heating up, Forest are eager to sort out his future and are looking to ward off interest by offering him a new contract.
Meanwhile, Johnson is also looking to continue his development at City Ground and is leaning towards penning fresh terms, which comes as a hammer blow to his top-flight admirers. Newcastle, Leeds and Palace will now have to realign their radars on other potential summer targets.