The January transfer window might have closed a fortnight ago, but Leeds United are already said to be putting plans in place for new Summer signings.
It's understood Leeds were willing to pay £3.5 million for Mbakogu, who has scored six goals in the Italian second tier in 2017/18. But Carpi, who are fighting for promotion to Serie A, understandably didn't want to let one of their key players go midway through the campaign.
A summer move to West Yorkshire is still on the cards, with Gazzamercato claiming that Leeds have set aside around £4.4 million already to bring the Nigerian to England. Leeds, however, are not the only Championship side who are in need of attacking reinforcements. Since Aitor Karanka took over at Nottingham Forest at the start of the year, goals have been in short supply.
Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Hull City means Forest haven’t scored in their last three outings. Top scorer Kieran Dowell is only on loan from Everton, while Daryl Murphy - the man brought into replace Britt Assombalonga (below), - has just one in his last 12 games.
Blessed with natural pace and fearsome power, Mbakogu looks a more like-for-like successor for Assombalonga, who has been badly missed since his £15 million move to Middlesbrough during the summer.
In truth, Nottingham Forest have lacked cutting edge up top in the last few months. Murphy, whose best years appear to be behind him, appears to lack the energy or the dynamism to take the place of the club's now departed record signing, whose physicality and constant movement was as important as his goals. Assombalonga almost single-handedly saved Forest from relegation last season.
Karanka's side are currently seven points clear of the bottom three but sinking fast, their decline as much a consequence of a lack of goalscorers as it is their penchant for dodgy defending. So assuming Forest do stay up this season, they must prioritise signing a genuine Assombalonga successor in the summer.
Mbakogu, who posseses many of the same attributes - even if he is not quite as prolific - should at least come under consideration before Leeds complete a deal to bring him to Elland Road.