Cooper could sign perfect partner for Mangala in Forest swoop for “dangerous” £32m gem

The 25-year-old is reportedly on Cooper’s list…

Nottingham Forest are reportedly in the race to sign PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, as Steve Cooper looks to bolster his side ahead of the new season.

The Reds fought a strong battle in their return to the Premier League last campaign, however this summer must be used to introduce reinforcements to allow the side to drift away from being relegation candidates once more.

Could Nottingham Forest sign Ibrahim Sangare?

As reported by ESPN journalist Milan van Dongen, Forest are eyeing a move for Sangare this window.

Van Dongen claimed, as relayed by Dutch site PSV Fans, that the club’s “most likely” summer sale is the midfielder, who could leave the Dutch outfit if €37.5m (£32m) is offered.

It’s added by the journalist that the Reds are keen to pay that amount, which would allow the player to depart should he agree to sanction the move.

How good is Ibrahim Sangare?

Hailed as being “one of Ligue 1’s best midfielders” by talent scout Jacek Kulig during his time with Toulouse, the 25-year-old has cemented himself as being a well-thought-of defensive midfielder in Europe.

The Ivory Coast international made 78 appearances in the French top-tier, before taking his skills elsewhere to showcase his game in the Eredivisie, signing for PSV in 2020.

With 87 Eredivisie appearances under his belt so far, Sangare has become a firm favourite at PSV, supported by his average match rating of 7.24 in the league last term during Eindhoven’s second-place finish.

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Deployed in deep midfield, the Abidjan-born gem is the definition of a complete midfielder, bossing attributes in areas key to being an orchestrator in the engine room.

Making an average of 2.66 tackles per 90 in Eredivise last season, the 25-year-old highlighted his proficiency in the combative requirements in the middle of the park while maintaining a good temperament, receiving five yellow cards in 29 appearances.

Described as “dangerous” by analyst Aad de Mos, the Forest target is showing glimpses of having strengths in the final third as well as being a competent defensive presence, as supported by his five goals and one assist in the league last term.

For Cooper’s side, the midfielder could be the perfect figure to integrate into his side in order to fortify the spine of the team on show at the City Ground.

The Welshman recruited Orel Mangala last summer in order to strengthen the midfield, a move that could have a more complete feel with the introduction of Sangare alongside him.

Purchased from Stuttgart, the Belgian was thrown straight into the mix and made 27 Premier League appearances in his debut season, impressing as a dominating player to protect the defence.

In adding the Ivory Coast whiz, Cooper could get the best out of Mangala, who showcased his passing attributes better in the Bundesliga the season prior to his move to Nottingham.

Making an impressive 7.58 progressive passes and 1.33 successful take-ons per 90 in the Eredivisie last campaign, Sangare could act as the partner to the Forest midfielder in order to encourage him to restore his form from Germany by imitating his playing style.

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This term, Mangala averaged 0.17 key passes and 0.93 successful take-ons per 90 for the Reds, compared to his 1.41 key passes and 2.09 successful take-ons in the 2021/22 Bundesliga.

In having two midfielders with defensive and passing strengths, Cooper could unleash the ideal pivot in the middle of the park, in a move that could allow the former Stuttgart ace to explore further areas of his game.