'He was fantastic' David Johnson praises Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis as Brennan Johnson contract talks begin amid Premier League interest

Nottingham Forest and Brennan Johnson have begun talks about a potential new contract with the Midlands outfit, the midfielder's father has confirmed.

The 20-year-old Welshman has been a revelation since breaking into the Nottingham Forest first team at the beginning of the season, with 9 goals and 5 assists in his 31 Championship appearances to date, and has caught the eye of a host of Premier League sides.

Brentford were the most concretely interested in the youngster, who has played on either wing and as a second striker, seeing two bids rejected by Forest in January to the tune of around £18 million, which would have made him Brentford's record signing.

The Bees are not alone in their admiration for the Forest star, however. Both newly-rich Newcastle United and Crystal Palace have also been reportedly chasing his signature this season, and more clubs will surely join should he continue to shine for the Reds.

However, come the summer, his current contract will have just 12 months left to run, leaving Forest in a potentially weak bargaining position should no progress be made on a new deal.

New contract in the works

Fortunately for them, it seems as though progress is being made in the midland outfit's attempt to keep the Welshman.

'(Initially) I said let's get the wheels in motion and wait until September when the window has closed and the manager can bring his own players in', he told the podcast.

'If Brennan was part of his plans we'll consider signing. If he's not then there's no point. We got to September and spoke to Dane (chief executive Dane Murphy). The contract offer wasn't very good.'

He then revealed talks had taken place in late 2021 too, saying:

'Our next contract talks were in December when they had a bid of £10m plus (from Brentford) and I said it wasn't the right time to be talking, Brennan should just focus on the first team.'

'We knew Brennan was always going to stay through the January window. That was the fact of the matter.'

But, as of last week, it appears that progress has been made. In a meeting between Johnson snr and Evangelos Marinakis, which also involved Miltiadis Marinakis, Dane Murphy and Steve Cooper, a breakthrough seemed to be found.

"I spoke to the owner last week and had a very good chat with him down in London. He was fantastic. He came across really well.

'He told me how he sees the club and its future', Johnson revealed. 'We said great, we'll carry on talks. There's 15 games to go so let's sit down and try to get something sorted by the end of the season, but it's so busy it will probably be by email or something.

'That's where we're at. Everyone thinks it's like deadline day and you have an hour to agree the contract.'

'It's not. The club take their time. We're in no rush and everything is going really well.

'The club have been brilliant and we'll get there in the end.'

It is encouraging news for Forest fans, who may struggle to hold onto their latest starlet if bigger bids come in even with a new contract in the works.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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