Steve Cooper enjoying Nottingham Forest spending spree

Morgan Gibbs-White is poised to become their 16th summer signing after they agreed a £25 million fee

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper. PA
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Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper insists an “exciting challenge” lies ahead after a complete revamp of his promoted squad.

Forest ended their 23-year Premier League exile last season and have responded by making wholesale changes in a bid to stave off an immediate return to the second-tier Championship.

Morgan Gibbs-White is poised to become their 16th summer signing after they agreed a £25 million fee, which could rise to over £40m, with Wolves for the midfielder.

Cooper said of his City Ground overhaul: “Well we’re enjoying it that’s for sure and we’re certainly facing up to it because it’s a reality.

“We’re not seeing it as a negative and not seeing it as a disadvantage because if you see it like that then you’re already on a downer with it. So we’re enjoying it.”

The former England Under-17s and Swansea boss added: “I’ve worked in international football when you get two or three days to try and put a team together to play in a European qualifier or tournament, with a group of players from different clubs in different parts of the country.

“So that’s an exciting challenge and for me it’s a great experience, a new experience at club level, to be able to do this.”

Gibbs-White, 22, is set to be reunited with Cooper after spending the first half of the 2020/21 season on loan at Swansea when the latter was in charge.

Forest completed their 15th summer signing last weekend following the arrivals of Emmanuel Dennis, Cheikhou Kouyate and Remo Freuler, who could all be in contention for Saturday’s Premier League game at Everton.

Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson and Taiwo Awoniyi had been among the club’s new arrivals earlier this summer.

Cooper added: “Quite rightly I get asked every week by people about the amount of players coming in and I completely understand that. It’s the right question to ask.

“But we had no alternative. It was inevitable. We were getting prepared for it for a long while and we’re still in that process.

“All we can do is keep trying to build layers day by day, in the way that we work and behave.”

150 summer transfers - in pictures

Forest were bottom of the Championship when they appointed Cooper as Chris Hughton’s permanent successor in September 2021.

The following May they beat Huddersfield in the play-off final to trigger a summer spending spree that will not end with the pending arrival of Gibbs-White.

Cooper added: “I definitely think there will be some more ins and outs. I don’t know who, or how many, which is obviously the next question.

“But there’s still the best part of a couple of weeks to go (before the transfer window closes) and a lot can still happen.”

Updated: August 19, 2022, 8:53 AM