Wolves prepared to lock horns with Nottingham Forest to sign 'bargain' £7m defender

Wolves are said to be interested in Le Havre defender Etienne Youte Kinkoue.Wolves are said to be interested in Le Havre defender Etienne Youte Kinkoue.
Wolves are said to be interested in Le Havre defender Etienne Youte Kinkoue. | AFP via Getty Images
Wolves will have to fight off Premier League competition to land a highly-rated defender.

Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly ready to challenge Nottingham Forest for the signing of Le Havre defender Ettiene Youte Kinkoue.

The 22-year-old, a French Ligue 2 champion in 2022/23, enjoyed his most senior minutes to date last campaign as he racked up 22 appearances in Ligue 1. Kinkoue played a key role as Le Havre survived relegation by three points, avoiding defeat in more than half of their matches despite their recent promotion.

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Football Insider reports Wolves and Forest have been drawn to Kinkoue and are both plotting moves to sign him. It’s claimed the former France Under-17 international will be available for a bargain fee of £7 million as he enters the final 12 months of his Le Havre contract.

Once on the books at Inter Milan, Kinkoue is a tall and physical centre-back who compares excellently to the elite in France. The defender was in the top 28 per cent for total defensive actions in Ligue 1 last season, while his FotMob rating averaged out at a respectable 6.90.

Kinkoue could suit both Wolves and Forest

Wolves are in the market for centre-halves following Max Kilman’s departure and are likely to sign multiple options for depth purposes. Kinkoue would offer similar aerial prowess to Kilman but likely wouldn’t have the same impact when passing out from the back.

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Forest, meanwhile, are eager to add quality to their defence after conceding 67 Premier League goals last season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side reached just 32 points, a total usually not good enough for survival. In order to stay up once again, Forest must sure up their back line.

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