Scott McKenna – long in Stoke City’s little black book of transfer targets – is expected to join Championship rivals Nottingham Forest.
The 23-year-old was courted during Mark Cartwright’s time as technical director, going back to January 2018 when Paul Lambert arrived at the club while bids of around £6.5m were knocked back 12 months later.
Now NottinghamshireLive report he is closing in on becoming Forest’s 10th signing of a busy summer transfer window with a move from Aberdeen.
The deal is worth £3m up front, but could reach £5m with various add-ons, according to the Daily Record. And it is said Aberdeen have a sell-on clause which could see them bag more than 20 percent of any future sale.
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McKenna will join Jack Colback, Tyler Blackett, Lyle Taylor, Fouad Bachirou, Luke Freeman, Miguel Angel Guerrero, Loic Mbe Soh, Abdoulaye Diallo and Cyrus Christie in putting pen to paper at the City Ground.
McKenna will provide another option for Sabri Lamouchi in the centre of defence, with the head coach understood to be keen to shore up a back line which has looked vulnerable in the opening two Championship games.
Tobias Figueiredo and Joe Worrall have been the first-choice partnership so far but McKenna is joining Michael Dawson, Yohan Benalouane, Soh and Blackett in a crowded department.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said at the weekend: “I’m pretty sure they’re close to a fee being agreed and Scott is on his way down south to try and get things concluded. I’m pretty sure that’s the way it is and I’d be surprised if it fell through.
“Scott was always going to move at some point. I’d prefer to speak more when it’s concluded but he’s a player with 16 caps and at the age of 23 he’s only going to improve.
“He’s not just a good player, he’s a brilliant person and a great boy and I’ve enjoyed working with him. It’s always with a heavy heart when you lose good ones. But he’s one who is deserving of another opportunity to push on.
“Wherever he ends up he’ll have a good career, there’s no doubt about it, because he treats everything properly, whether it’s a passing drill or recovery after games, everything is 100 percent.
“We weren’t encouraging bids but we expected bids as soon as the Championship got up and running.
“The way Scott has been and his form, you’d need to be living on Mars to not see how well he’s been playing.
“His stats are right up there with anybody in our league. We were allowed to bring Tommie Hoban and Ross McCrorie in as part of that process to deal with McKenna leaving.”