Who are the Brentford transfer targets after the Bees have had another season on their upward trajectory, only missing out on European football by a couple of points and places after a strong finish to their Premier League campaign?
Still, they built on an original comfortable survival in 2021/22 to kick further up the league, and whilst they continue to defy critics, further progress seems on the agenda.
It’s been a busy start to the summer in TW8, but despite the signings of Nathan Collins, Mark Flekken and the permanent addition of Kevin Schade after his initial loan spell, further deals seem imminent with more Brentford transfer targets linked in various publications.
Sam Bell – Winger/Forward – Bristol City
Sam Bell is one of the great talents that has come through Bristol City’s youth program. At just 21 years of age, he is tipped to be one of the stars of the future, but whether this future will be at Bristol City or not remains to be seen. On that note, if Brentford has anything to do with it, Sam Bell will be a Brentford man within the next few weeks. Brentford has reportedly been scouting the young forward in recent weeks, and there is growing speculation that Brentford will make an offer to sign him. With that said, it’s not just Brentford that is interested in making a move to sign Sam Bell.
As per the most recent scouting reports, other clubs including Brighton, Rangers, Wolves, and Crystal Palace might be shaping up to send an offer through to Bristol City. So if Bell is to become one of the successful Brentford transfer targets before August is over, they will need to move swiftly and put forward a competitive bid. Of course, given the age of Sam Bell, this provides an opportunity for Brentford to get a bargain on a player that could grow into one of their top wingers/forwards.
Therefore, since this is an exciting and developing story, I expect some major headlines to emerge over the coming days.
Nico Gonzalez – Winger – Fiorentina
Brentford has been pretty busy this summer with their scouting efforts. Of course, the intention of this is to find potential diamonds in the rough in various parts of the globe. On that note, it looks like the scouts have set their sights on Nico Gonzalez, who currently plays for the Serie A club, Fiorentina. As for how we can be certain that Nico Gonzalez is one of the Brentford transfer targets right now, they’ve already put forward an offer. However, this offer was made well over a week ago, and the €30 million offer sent by Brentford was ultimately rejected by Fiorentina.
But as we all know, there are many transfers that end up being completed following a failed bid or two. In fact, this is an expected part of the negotiation process when attempting to complete the signing of any player. And since the initial €30 bid has been pushed back, I feel it’s likely that Brentford will step up and put forward the €35 million asking price for Gonzalez. Brentford can certainly afford to make such a bid, and since Gonzalez is a top-level winger, he would be a valuable asset for Brentford moving forward.
Yet to stress once again, at the time of writing, Brentford has not yet moved forward with a second bid for the 25-year-old Argentinian.
Links between Crystal Palace’s Danish centre-back and Brentford have been circulating for some time now, with there being more than a subtle suggestion that the Dane is one of the foremost Brentford transfer targets, although maybe this is slightly more unlikely now that the Bees have made Nathan Collins their club record signing.
That said, Thomas Frank likes a system that employs three central defenders and even with Collins in, there are potential opportunities to be had. Ben Mee and Zanka are both 33 years old, and Kristoffer Ajer’s injury record remains a worry, despite his obvious quality when he has been able to play.
Andersen has been impressive since arriving in the Premier League, first on loan at Fulham and then for the past two seasons at Selhurst Park, and the accuracy of his long-range passing, as well as general composure in his defensive duties endeared him to both fanbases. Newcastle are also reported to be ramping up their interest, but Brentford would offer a future closer to his current home.
Suffice to say that this one would be a transfer that would cause quite the furore in certain West London circles if it was to go through. Andersen’s previous Fulham connection means that there would be a lot of people very upset down at Craven Cottage should the Dane end up at the G-Tech – and no uncertain amount of crowing from Bees fans should they prise a former player from their rivals down the river.
Burnley are reportedly leading the race to sign Sunderland starlet Clarke, but Brentford are long-term admirers of the 22-year old who has had another standout season in the Championship.
Clarke exploded onto the scene at Leeds United as a precocious teenager before being purchased by Tottenham Hotspur for a fee suggested to be around the £10m mark. That move didn’t work out, with Clarke loaned out firstly back to Leeds, then to QPR and Stoke City, before heading to Sunderland, who made the move permanent last summer.
Up on Wearside, Clarke has revitalised his career, and last year he notched 11 goals and 14 assists in all competitions for the Black Cats as Tony Mowbray’s swashbuckling young side reached the Championship playoffs, despite starting the campaign as one of the favourites for relegation.
Clarke was a huge part of that success, and has shown far more of the moments of magic which were the reason for much of the hype that surrounded him back at Leeds. Clarke actually made his senior debut against the Bees, and they’ve had him on their radar for a long time. Burnley might have opened the bidding, but don’t rule out Brentford becoming involved in this one too.
A reported £30m offer from Brentford to Nottingham Forest has apparently already been rejected this summer, but Brentford need to strengthen their attacking options in the absence of Ivan Toney, who is suspended for the first half of the season, and could go back in a second time for the Wales international.
Forest are understandably not keen to sell their poster boy and last season’s top scorer, but equally have shelled out a lot of money in the past 12 months and may find it hard to turn down a huge windfall should the right offer come in.
Sources suggest that the offer would need to be around the £60 million mark to make Forest sit up and take notice, so it remains to be seen whether that’s feasible for Brentford, who would need to more than double their club record signing fee, paid for Nathan Collins just a few weeks ago.
But the Bees have shown of late that they are not afraid to spend if they feel the fit and player are correct for the club – the nine most expensive arrivals in the club’s history have all come in the past two years, whilst this summer they have already shelled out on Collins, Kevin Schade and Mark Flekken.
Johnson, who turned 22 in May, is already proven at both Premier League and international level – scoring eight times in his debut top-flight season and being included in the Wales squad for the 2022 World Cup. He won the EFL’s Young Player of the Season award in 21/22, and his searing pace and ability in transition would fit nicely with Thomas Frank’s preferred style of play.