Nottingham Forest have switched their attention to Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi after being priced out of a move for PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangare.
Wilfred Ndidi, 26, joined Leicester City from Belgian Pro League side KRC Genk in January 2017. He has gone onto make close to 240 appearances for the Foxes, scoring 11 goals. The Nigerian international remained a regular fixture last season, making 30 appearances in all competitions, but he was unable to prevent Leicester City’s relegation from the Premier League.
The 26-year-old, who has entered the final year of his contract, wants to leave Leicester City following their relegation from the top flight. Ndidi has previously been on the radar of Scottish champions Celtic, while there is also interest from wealthy Saudi Arabian clubs.
Nottingham Forest are reportedly the latest club to join the race for Ndidi, who is valued at around £20 million by the Foxes. The defensive midfielder’s contractual situation and decline in form in recent years mean Leicester are forced to value him lower than they may have done previously.
Steve Cooper wants a defensive midfielder on top priority
Nottingham Forest have signed Anthony Elanga and Ola Aina in the summer transfer thus far, while they remain in talks with Manchester United over a deal for goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who spent last season on loan at the City Ground. Furthermore, Forest boss Steve Cooper has made the signing of a new defensive the top priority before the new season kicks off in August.
Forest had the joint fourth-worst defensive record (68) in the division in the 2022/23 campaign, so the idea of adding more protection to the backline by bringing in a cultured defensive midfielder makes complete sense.
Having failed in their pursuit of PSV Eindhoven star Ibrahim Sangare, Cooper has set his sights on signing Wilfred Ndidi. Once heralded as a top defensive midfielder, Ndidi’s shocking loss in form—owing to injury problems—has coincided with Leicester City’s gradual slump in form and, eventually relegation from the Premier League.
Yet, at 26, the Nigerian wants to embark on a new chapter with the hope of getting back his mojo and enjoying arguably his peak years away from Leicester. A move to Forest could work well for Ndidi, with his profile exactly matching Cooper’s immediate requirements at the club. Ndidi should ideally walk straight into Cooper’s XI if a move goes through, taking up the No.6 role. With his long legs and energy, he will help Forest win back possession as well as initiate attacks from the base of their midfield.
Even though Ndidi hasn’t been in the best of forms in the last two seasons, £20 million for a Premier League-proven, a cultured defensive midfielder who could potentially make a huge difference to the team would represent an excellent piece of business from Forest.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.