Bristol City and Stoke City eye loan transfer swoop for Nottingham Forest midfielder

The Robins could battle it out with Stoke City - for Nottingham Forest’s French midfielder.
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Bristol City are reportedly ying for the signature of Nottingham Forest midfielder Ateef Konate. The 21-year-old is available on loan, and the Robins are said to hold an interest in the French playmaker, but face competition from several clubs.

Nigel Pearson is keen to do business in the January transfer window, and has spoken about the possibility of utilising the loan market for the first time since his tenure. The 59-year-old is on the search for a ‘maverick’, who can win games on their own and Konate could fit the bill.

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City want to sign both a playmaker and a centre-back in this window, and Konate is an attacking midfielder. Alex Scott and Andi Weimann can both play in the role but have been deployed as wing-backs at times this season, and have taken on more defensive duties.

The Athletic journalist David Ornstein tweeeted that 'a number of clubs' are vying for Forest talent Atef Konate, after they decided he could leave on loan. Bristol City are one of two Championship clubs interested, and could battle it out with Stoke City. He has received offers from League One, as well as Danish club Odense.

He is under contract at Forest until June 2024, and The Athletic say there are ‘high hopes’ for his career, which could make his availability ‘enticing’ for suitors for the second part of the campaign.

Konate has only made senior appearances in his career with just eight Championship minutes under his belt for Forest, and he last played a senior match in January 2021. The Aubervilliers-born midfielder made one Coupe de France appearance for Le Harve, before moving to the City Ground.

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For Forest's Under-21's, he has excelled this season with three goals in five Premier League 2 matches. He got seven goals and seven assists in the previous campaign. Konate's predominant position is an attacking midfielder, but he has played left-midfield and as a second striker.

The links with Konate may signal that City could be exploring other options, and he may come at a lesser price, given he has not been exposed to much senior level football before, and was on the books of a promoted team, rather than an established outfit.

Pearson publicly admitted that he still holds an interest in Reda Khadra, whose season-long loan deal at Sheffield United has been terminated. In his pre-match press conference, Pearson believed that City would be a good fit for the Germany Under-21 international, but they could be set to miss out. Khadra is wanted by Birmingham City, who are at an advanced stage to sign the playmaker with talk of a medical.

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