FOREST AGREE FEE FOR JOHNSON
By Peter O`Rourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
NOTTINGHAM FOREST are expected to complete a deal for Ipswich's out-of-favour striker David Johnson after both clubs agreed a fee of £3 million for the player.
Forest are hopeful of pushing a deal through in time for the former Manchester United trainee to make his debut against Crystal Palace on Sunday at the City Ground.
Johnson played and scored for Ipswich reserves in the victory over Watford on Wednesday night in what was probably his last appearance for the club.
The Premiership side had rejected an earlier bid of £2.5 million from Forest boss David Platt for the Jamaican ace, but they have decided to accept the new improved offer.
The 24-year-old has been frozen out of George Burley's plans this season having struggled to establish himself in The Premiership failing to score in the league this season in six starts and seven substitute appearances.
Burley admitted that he cannot offer Johnson what he wants - which is first team football and that it his decision to leave the club.
"I've spoken to David and he wants first team football, but at the moment I can't offer him that," said Burley. "He will decide if he wants to go. If he doesn't want to then we are happy to keep him as he has been a tremendous asset."
He did manage to hit three goals in the Worthington Cup but he has now become surplus to requirements at Portman Road falling behind Marcus Stewart, James Scowcroft, Richard Naylor and new signing Alun Armstrong in the pecking order for places in Town's starting line-up.
Stewart's impressive form this season which has saw him score 15 goals and Armstrong's good start to his Ipswich career has meant that it has become even harder for Johnson to get a chance to play regularly.
Platt has been keen to add to his attacking options at the club and he tries to strengthen their push for promotion.
The former England captain had become worried about his side's lack of goalscoring having only found the net six times in their last eight games.
Platt has also not been convinced about the form of his four strikers at the club with Jack Lester top scorer with just seven and the other three forwards Stern John, Marlon Harewood and Gary Jones only finding the net twice between them.
Johnson, who scored 23 goals last season helping Ipswich to promotion, is a proven striker at First Division level and if he signs on at Forest it will represent a boost to their chances of returning to the Premiership.