Nottingham Forest: £25m “beast” could be a Nelsson alternative

Steve Cooper could add more strength to his defence before the close of the window.


Nottingham Forest are preparing for a busy conclusion of the transfer window, as Steve Cooper eyes final reinforcements to cement his squad for the battles ahead in the 2023/24 campaign.

The Tricky Trees welcomed their fifth arrival this week through Gonzalo Montiel, with the right-back signing on an initial season-long loan with the option to make the move permanent.


In what is a strong capture for the Reds, it seems as though the club are far from closing the book on the window, with more defensive targets circling around the media.

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Who could Nottingham Forest sign this summer?

There is ongoing speculation regarding Forest’s interest in Galatasaray centre-back Victor Nelsson, with recent news suggesting that the 24-year-old titan is in the middle of a bidding war.


Reports in Turkey (as relayed by Sport Witness), Forest had an opening bid for the Denmark international rejected, and were told by the Super Lig champions to improve their offer, with it being in the region of €18m (£15m) and his release clause sitting at €25m (£21m).


The report claims that the Premier League side have improved their offer by €1m (£860k), with clarity on the situation not echoed.

It’s unknown whether the new bid will suffice, yet another target has emerged in the same position, with Sport Witness also relaying a report from Portugal that links Forest to Benfica defender Felipe Morato.


The report speculates that the Reds have made a €30m (£25m) offer for the centre-back, who has a €100m (£85m) release clause in his contract with the Eagles.


How good is Felipe Morato?

Considering that Forest are reported to have submitted two offers to Galatasaray in the hope to capture the signature of Nelsson, it would seem that the club are determined to bring him to the City Ground.


However, in Morato, Cooper could find himself chasing a colossus that could be the perfect alternative to the 24-year-old.


Having been described as being a “magnificent centre-back” by scout Jacek Kulig, the Brazilian is coming to be an assured member in the backline for Benfica, as he continues to integrate into the first team.

As per FBref, the 22-year-old averaged an impressive 5.28 progressive passes per 90 last term, as well as making 1.28 tackles and winning 2.64 aerials per 90 during the Eagles’ league-winning Primeira Liga campaign.

Standing at 6 foot 4, the Brazilian showed his maturity and composure through his distribution, in which he averaged a stellar pass completion rate of 90.0% last season.


Once lauded as a “beast” by U23 scout Antonio Mango, the youngster came out on top in comparison to other target Nelsson in some decimals, with the Galatasaray whiz averaging 0.8 tackles and maintaining a pass completion rate of 86%, via Sofascore.


Mango also hailed the Benfica starlet previously as being “one of the most well-rounded” young defenders, noting his abilities as a ball player and having the perfect fusion of “aggressiveness, intelligence and awareness” so early in his career.


While Nelsson has more experience in playing at senior level, in monitoring Morato, Cooper could have the choice between two potentially strong acquisitions at the City Ground, with both excelling at centre-back for their respective clubs.

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