Sandro Kulenovic has turned down a move to Nottingham Forest, although the Championship giants are not yet accepting defeat in their pursuit of the highly-rated Dinamo Zagreb striker, as reported by Sportske Novosti.
You don’t need to be a coach with 25 years experience on your CV – as Chris Hughton is – to identify the biggest problem facing Forest two weeks out from their league opener away at Coventry City on August 8.
The two-time European champions scored just 37 goals in 46 games last term; a record bettered by the relegated trio of Wycombe Wanderers, Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday.
While Lewis Grabban and Lyle Taylor are fine Championship strikers on paper, they found the net just ten times between them in 2020/21.
Reinforcements are obviously required, then, if Nottingham Forest are to threaten the play-off places next time out.
Where will Nottingham Forest go to solve their striker problem?
It was reported a fortnight ago that Croatia U21 international Kulenovic had emerged as the club’s preferred option, having made a loan-to-buy bid worth £2.5 million for a man some have dubbed ‘the new Mario Mandzukic’.
In mid-July, Sportske Novosti claimed that it was only a matter of time before Kulenovic was being unveiled in Garibaldi red.
Things have changed since then, however.
New reports coming out of Croatia claim that, while Nottingham Forest’s offer is still standing, Kulenovic has made it clear that he has little interest in swapping the biggest club in the country for a side who finished 17th in England’s second tier last term.
So continues a frustrating summer for a Forest side whose only signing, Ethan Horvath, will most likely play back-up to Brice Samba at the City Ground.
Three bids have been lodged without success for Fortuna Sittard talisman Zion Flemming, while their interest in Hibernian flyer Josh Doig feels distinctly pie in the sky.