Breaking: Awoniyi gets new coach as Nottingham Forest sack Cooper

Nuno Espírito Santo has agreed to take over as Nottingham Forest’s manager. 

The club with Nigerian international Taiwo Awoniyi as star player have sacked Steve Cooper after one win in 13 matches and turned to Nuno, a former Tottenham and Wolves head coach, with the team 17th in the Premier League, five points above the relegation zone.

Nuno is out of work after being dismissed by the Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad early in November, months after he won the title there. His most recent Premier League post was an ill-fated 17-game spell at Spurs that ended in November 2021. 

Before that, Nuno – a client of the agent Jorge Mendes – led Wolves into the top flight and kept them there for three seasons. The Portuguese is set to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal at the City Ground.

Forest have decided to remove Cooper after five defeats and a draw from their past six matches and a formal announcement will follow. 

Cooper survived a damaging 5-0 defeat at Fulham and a 1-1 draw at Wolves this month but Forest have acted after last Friday’s 2-0 home loss to Tottenham. The club’s only win since early September was at home to Aston Villa on 5 November.

Forest also held talks with the former Eintracht Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner, who expressed a willingness to take the job, but Glasner was behind Nuno in the thinking of Forest’s owner, Evangelos Marinakis. 

Julen Lopetegui was on Forest’s radar but discussions with the former Wolves manager did not progress.

Cooper was close to the sack on more than one occasion since he won promotion via the playoffs in May 2022. 

Strong supporter backing appeared to play a part in keeping him in post but the fanbase became more split over his future and Marinakis has decided a change is necessary, informing Cooper of his exit on Tuesday.