Aston Villa target Brennan Johnson has been making the right "noises" to suggest that he'd be keen on a move to Villa Park this summer, claims journalist Will Pugh.
Is Brennan Johnson joining Aston Villa?
Things have been looking extremely rosy for Villa fans over the last eight months or so. The departure of Steven Gerrard and the arrival of Unai Emery has brought with it a sense that the club are on the right track to seriously challenge the 'big six' sides over the coming years.
With the Spaniard at the helm and Europa Conference League football coming to the West Midlands, the Villains have unsurprisingly been able to attract bigger names than ever before.
The recent signing of Pau Torres would have been seen as a pipe dream just a year ago, as the Spanish international had previously been linked to sides like Bayern Munich.
The most recent link, whilst maybe not as exciting, would still represent a good signing if the club can pull it off, Welsh international Johnson.
According to the Daily Mail, talks between Villa and Nottingham Forest have already taken place, and should the Claret and Blue match the asking price of £40m, the Welshman would be allowed to join the club, something he has been indicating he wants to do, per journalist Will Pugh.
He explained the situation on air, which was posted on TalkSPORT's YouTube channel, saying:
"Forest rejected a £30m bid from Brentford last month. The word out of Forest seems to be that £40m-45m would be acceptable to them.
"They're keen to sell just to ease some of their financial fair play concerns. Obviously, they've made so many signings over the last 12 months or so.
"I think it would be a good move, Johnson's camp is making noises that he'd be keen on the switch to Villa."
How good is Brennan Johnson?
While it was obviously a brilliant team effort to keep Forest up last season, they would likely have struggled a lot more had Johnson not been in the team.
According to WhoScored, he averaged a relatively decent rating of 4.49 across his 33 Premier League starts last season, scoring eight goals and providing three assists along the way.
His underlying numbers, whilst lacking in some areas, paint the picture of a hard-working forward who, in a more organised team, could reach much higher performance levels.
According to FBref, who compare players in a similar position across Europe's top five leagues, he sits in the top 12% for progressive carries, the top 14% for tackles, the top 16% for blocks, and the top 38% for successful take-ons, all per 90.
His performances last season led to pundit Jobi McAnuff waxing lyrical about him on BBC Radio Five Live (via NottinghamForestNews), saying:
"He has really found his feet. What I love about him is his directness, his positive attitude when he's on the pitch.
"He's developing into a really top finisher and his second goal was a prime example of that."
Should Villa stump up the cash required to bring him to the West Midlands, it could prove to be an excellent deal if he keeps developing at the rate he has over the last couple of years.