Head coach Steve Cooper says Brennan Johnson is “definitely happy” at Nottingham Forest as speculation about his future intensifies.

The Reds attacker is not short of admirers as next week’s transfer deadline looms. Brentford have already had two bids rejected this summer, while Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Aston Villa have also been eyeing up the Wales international.

Cooper says Johnson remains fully focused on his work on the training ground and on the pitch. And he has reiterated his stance that there is no danger of any transfer talk becoming a distraction.

Asked if Johnson is happy at the City Ground, the Forest boss said: “He’s definitely happy. When I talk about seeing him grow and develop, it’s not just on the pitch, it’s off the pitch as well.
“He’s a fine young man. He’s been brought up brilliantly. But he also has a good character as well and is right in the mix with the good atmosphere in the group.

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“He’s always happy and smiling. But at the same time, I see the same focused lad I’ve always seen, and a real commitment to how we work. There’s always 100 percent application. I don’t know what’s going on, if anything is at all, but I haven’t seen any change in him, that’s for sure.


“I’m just focused on working with him day to day. I’ve always loved working with Brennan since I’ve been here. Every day it’s been great to work with him and all the guys.


“To see him grow and develop over these two years has been really pleasing. It always comes down to what the player does – nobody else – and Brennan has really committed to his improvement.


“At times, he has carried a lot of responsibility for the team with his goals and with his assists, and his ability to make the difference at the top end of the pitch. He did that in the year we got promoted and also had some really defining moments for us last year.


“I don’t think further than the next training session with him, and then the next game. That’s the way we work anyway, living in the moment and getting the most out of it.”
Cooper says he hasn’t spoken to Johnson about any of the transfer speculation. But he isn’t surprised the Nigel Doughty Academy graduate finds himself in the spotlight.

“I don’t deal with that. I just deal with Brennan day to day,” he added. “We’re talking a lot at the moment, but they are normal conversations about performance and development, and everything else which goes around him aiming to be at his best.


“That’s what we do. If we get told at some stage that things change – not just with him, but with any of the players – then we’ll deal with it then.

Brennan Johnson - Nottingham Forest FC

“I can imagine there is speculation around Brennan. I don’t pay attention to it myself. But he’s a really talented young player, with the exciting bit being that he’s got a lot more to come as well.

“We love working with him as a player. We love him as a boy. Day to day, we’re continuing to enjoy working with him and everyone else.


“We don’t really have those discussions (about transfers). We talk about everything, but mainly football – performance, the next game, the last game, what we want to get out of the week and the individual work we do with him. That’s not just the case with Brennan, it’s the same for everyone.

“One thing is for sure, Brennan loves his football, whether it’s training or matches. That’s a big strength of his.”

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