Nottingham Forest have smashed their transfer record to sign Morgan Gibbs-White from Wolves in a deal that could reach £42.5m, taking their summer spending to about £140m. Gibbs-White is Forest’s 16th close-season signing as they continue to revamp their squad after promotion to the Premier League.
Wolves rejected two previous bids from Forest for Gibbs-White but considered their third offer too good to turn down given the player is understood to have been reluctant to extend his contract beyond 2024. Forest will pay an initial £25m for Gibbs-White, plus about £10m in add-ons dependent on league appearances and if Forest avoid relegation. On top of that £35m package, Forest would have to pay further add-ons if they were to record a top-half finish or qualify for Europe. Wolves have also inserted a 15% sell-on clause in the deal.
The 22-year-old shone in the Championship last season on loan at Sheffield United, though coincidentally he missed the penalty that meant Forest reached the playoff final. The deal for Gibbs-White means Forest have twice broken their transfer record this window, previously paying £17.5m to sign Taiwo Awoniyi, who scored his first goal in Sunday’s victory over West Ham, from Union Berlin.
Gibbs-White, who has made 15 Premier League starts, has been Steve Cooper’s main attacking target all summer and the Forest manager will be relieved to land a player with whom he previously worked at Swansea and with England youth teams. Gibbs-White was part of the England Under-17s squad that won the World Cup under Cooper in 2017.
After Forest’s first top-flight win in 23 years against West Ham on Sunday, Cooper said the volume of signings was a “necessity” given the turnover of players this summer. Five key loanees, including Djed Spence and James Garner, returned to their parent clubs, the former later joining Tottenham in a £20m deal. The arrival of Gibbs-White means Forest are not pursuing Brighton’s Neal Maupay despite making an offer for the striker last week.
Wolves also broke their transfer record on Thursday to sign the Sporting Lisbon midfielder Matheus Nunes on a five-year contract in a £38m deal. The 23-year-old has eight caps for Portugal and is expected to be part of their squad at the World Cup in Qatar. Bruno Lage is expected to target another striker despite the arrival of Gonçalo Guedes from Valencia and also has a full-back and centre-back on his list of priorities.