Brice Samba is ‘set to leave Nottingham Forest after agreeing a £4.3m move to Ligue 1 side Lens’… just months after helping Forest end their 23-year wait to return to the Premier League
- Nottingham Forest’s Brice Samba is close to completing a move to Lens
- He previously said he would not extend his current contract, ending in 2023
- Samba had been Forest’s first-choice goalkeeper for the past three seasons
- He kept 14 clean sheets last season as Forest returned to the Premier League
Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba is set to leave the newly-promoted Premier League side for Ligue 1 outfit Lens on a deal worth a reported £4.3million.
French outlet L’Equipe reported that the player was close to the move, with the finer details of the £4.3m deal being discussed by the two clubs and a deal is expected to be announced soon, subject to a medical.
The Athletic also report that the player had outlined his intentions to leave the City Ground, saying he would not sign any contract extension at Forest, with his current deal set to end next summer.
Brice Samba is set to leave after three seasons at Nottingham Forest for French side Lens
Reports suggest that Samba made his intentions to leave clear to Forest last month, before the club offered him a deal that did not meet the Congolese shot stoppers demands.
Samba helped Forest return to the Premier League last season
Suggestions are that Samba did not feel the proposed contract reflected his importance to the squad, or what he had achieved in three years with the side.
Samba will now arrive in France ahead of a medical at Lens, and is set to put pen to paper over a five-year deal at the Artois club.
He was reportedly one of Lens manager Franck Haise’s priorities this window, with current No 1 Jean-Louis Leca, 36, entering the final year of his contract, and young Venezuelan stopper Wuilker Farinez expected to depart.
The Congolese keeper will now return to French football after a three-year hiatus having begun his career with Le Havre, who have produced high-profile players such as Paul Pogba and Lassana Diarra.
Brice joined Forest from Caen in 2019 for just £1.9m, making 131 appearances and keeping 45 clean sheets in all competitions.
Forest have already signed three players, including French defender Giulian Biancone
The Premier League returnees have already ventured across the channel this window to bring in French defender Giulian Biancone from Troyes.
The 22-year-old started his career with Monaco and was sent on loan to Belgian side Cercle Brugge for two years before making a permanent switch to Troyes last summer.
Biancone joins former Liverpool forward Taiwo Awoniyi and Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson as Steve Cooper continues to build towards the start of the Premier League season.