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Nottingham Forest want Whittingham & Pratley

Peter Whittingham and Darren Pratley
Whittingham and Pratley are star players for their respective clubs

Nottingham Forest chief executive Mark Arthur claims Cardiff City star Peter Whittingham and Swansea City midfielder Darren Pratley want to join his club.

Arthur reveals Forest have had two bids for Whittingham, the Championship's joint top-scorer last season, rejected.

Arthur hopes to raid Wales' two clubs and says: "We're hopeful and what we do know is the players we've identified want to play for Nottingham Forest."

"That is the encouraging thing. It is just a case of prising them out."

Cardiff insist they do not need to sell their star players such as Whittingham and Michael Chopra despite their estimated debt of between £15m and £30.

Last season's defeated Championship play-off finalists recently confirmed Whittingham, who arrived in south Wales from Aston Villa in 2007, has opened contract talks because the 25-year-old winger is in the final year of his Cardiff City Stadium deal.

BBC Sport understands the Bluebirds turned down a bid in the region of £1m for Whittingham, who scored 25 goals last season, from Championship rivals Forest last week and also rejected an offer from Burnley earlier in the summer.

But Forest chief Arthur told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We've made two bids for Peter Whittingham and both have been turned down.

"They've said publically that they want to keep their best squad together.

"But we are aware he is in his last year of his contract and I'm sure they're not in a financial position where they can afford to let that run down.

"We understand he has rejected a new offer so we have to be a little bit patient and hopefully between now and the end of August we'll be able to bring him in.

"If not, then we'll try to bring him in either in January or at the end of the season when he is out of contract because we know he wants to come to us.

"I don't think anybody knows how much money it will take because Cardiff have said 'we're not selling and not interested in selling.'

"And until you get people that are prepared to negotiate you don't know how much extra it is going to take."

Forest, whose only summer signing so far is Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand on a six-month loan deal, are also targeting the star player of Cardiff's rivals Swansea as boss Billy Davis bids for promotion to the Premier League.

We're only one of a few clubs with any money to spend. So each time we've enquired about players, the price has doubled

Nottingham Forest chief executive Mark Arthur

Pratley is a key player for Swansea and the former Fulham trainee has been an integral part in their two narrowly unsuccessful Championship play-off bids in the last two seasons.

The 25-year-old - who signed a 'long-term' deal at Swansea in 2008 - was subject of a bid from Forest in the January transfer window, an offer that was turned down by the then fifth-placed club.

Forest, defeated Championship play-off semi-finalists last season, look to be testing Swansea's resolve again.

But new Swans manager Brendan Rodgers will be loathed to lose Pratley - who, like Whittingham, is in contract negotiations with his current club - so soon after fellow midfielder Leon Britton left on a free transfer to Sheffield United.

"The Darren Pratley situation is very similar," continued Forest chief Arthur. "Again they don't want to lose their best player.


"They've offered him a new contract and apparently he has turned it down and again we understand he is very keen to come and play for us.

"Swansea have to make a decision. This time last year they went blind with Leon Britton and he ran down his contract and do they want to do exactly the same with Darren Pratley? And only Swansea can answer that."

And asked how he knows the players want to sign for Forest, Arthur replied: "I've been told."

Arthur's up-front approach on Forest's transfer targets came before his club lost 1-0 on the opening day of the Championship season at Burnley.

"We're only one of a few clubs with any money to spend," he added.

"So each time we've enquired about players, the price has doubled and until we get closer to the end of the transfer window clubs are less likely to do a proper deal."

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see also
Burnley 1-0 Nottm Forest
07 Aug 10 |  Championship
Forest bring in Chelsea left-back
05 Aug 10 |  Nottm Forest
Cardiff transfer embargo lifted
06 Aug 10 |  Cardiff
Jones wants four Cardiff signings
06 Aug 10 |  Cardiff
Pratley Swans deal talks on hold
12 Aug 10 |  Swansea
Cardiff turn down Whittingham bid
03 Aug 10 |  Cardiff
Cardiff bid for double deal boost
31 Jul 10 |  Cardiff
Owls reject Forest's Johnson bid
26 Jul 10 |  Sheff Wed
Cardiff reject Whittingham offer
25 Jun 10 |  Cardiff
Britton joins Blades from Swansea
11 Jun 10 |  Sheff Utd
Swansea reject bids for star trio
02 Feb 10 |  Swansea
Pratley pens new Swans contract
09 Sep 08 |  Swansea
Whittingham secures Cardiff move
11 Jan 07 |  Cardiff

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