Morgan Gibbs-White: Nottingham Forest sign Wolves midfielder for club-record £25m plus add-ons
Nottingham Forest have signed Morgan Gibbs-White from Wolverhampton Wanderers for a club-record fee of £25m plus add-ons.
The 22-year-old midfielder moves to the City Ground on a five-year contract and is Forest’s 16th signing of the summer.
Forest have spent most of the transfer window trying to sign Gibbs-White, who came through Wolves’ academy.
The Stafford-born player has started both Premier League games for Bruno Lage’s side this season.
“This has been the hardest decision of my life but one I felt I had to take at this stage of my career,” Gibbs-White, who joined Wolves as an eight-year-old, wrote on social media.
“It hurts to leave but it’s time to take on a new challenge.”
Forest will pay an initial fee of £25m, plus up to £17m in potential add-ons, for Gibbs-White, who will wear the number 10 shirt.
Gibbs-White, who has 10 England Under-21s caps, impressed in the Championship last season on loan at Sheffield United.
He scored 12 goals and registered 10 assists in 37 appearances for the Blades, including scoring against Forest at The City Ground in the second leg of the Championship play-off semi-final.
Everton had reportedly been confident they could bring Gibbs-White to Goodison Park instead this summer, despite having an initial bid of £22.5m rejected by Wolves. Forest face the Toffees in the Premier League this Saturday.
Steve Cooper has spent the transfer window overhauling his squad in order to adapt to life back in the Premier League following their Championship play-off final victory last season.
Along with Gibbs-White, former Manchester United players Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson, plus Taiwo Awoniyi – who was bought from Union Berlin for a reported £17m – have also been added to Cooper’s side.
“Well we’re enjoying it that’s for sure,” Cooper said of his signings. “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.”
Forest’s persistence has paid off – analysis
Simon Stone, BBC Sport
On the face of it, this seems a very good deal for Wolves given the fee Nottingham Forest are paying.
Gibbs-White spent the last two seasons on loan, so to get an initial £25m is good business.
However, there is sadness at Molineux around the loss of a player who has been with them since he was eight years of age and is clearly developing into what Wolves staff believe will be a ‘top talent’.
Wolves will almost certainly need to find a replacement too – and that will not be straightforward.
In the end though, Forest’s persistence after having numerous bids turned down, has paid off.
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