Chuba Akpom close to completing Nottingham Forest switch

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Arsenal are ready to let young striker Chuba Akpom complete a loan move to the Championship before Thursday's deadline, with Nottingham Forest winning what's been a keenly-contested race for his signature.

Akpom has impressed during fleeting first-team appearances at the Emirates this season, but Arsene Wenger feels his development would be better served by playing regular first-team football over the next two months.

A string of promotion-chasing Championship clubs including Derby County, Norwich City and Bournemouth have enquired about the 19-year-old, but ESPN sources believe Forest are in the driving seat to get a short-term switch signed and sealed over the next 24 hours.

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Wage restrictions won't scupper deal

Forest are currently under a transfer embargo after breaching Financial Fair Play restrictions, which means that despite being free to do loan deals they are severely restricted in terms of a wage contribution they can offer Arsenal for Akpom.

The Gunners will overlook that problem if it means the England under-20 international gets some valuable game time in England's second tier though, which should mean Forest boss Dougie Freedman is handed a major boost in his bid gatecrash the play-offs against the odds.

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Long-term future is secure

Akpom had Arsenal chiefs worried with his reluctance to sign a new deal earlier this season, alerting the likes of Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund that he could be ready to move on in the summer.

The pacy predator ended that speculation by signing a new four-year deal in January, which means Arsenal see him as being in with a strong chance of staking a claim for a first-team place further down the line.

For now though Akpom will have to gear up for the third loan move of his fledging career, which will hopefully go better than the previous two.

Akpom spent time with both Brentford and Coventry City in League One last season and didn't manage to score a single goal for either, far from a fair reflection of his talent.

Forest should provide the perfect platform to make it third time lucky away from the Emirates, in a move which could well be repeated next season if successful.

Arsenal fans, are you excited by Akpom's potential? Has he got what it takes to make it in the Premier League? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!

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