Nottingham Forest signs Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin

Union Berlin's Taiwo Awoniyi controls the ball, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Union Berlin and Cologne, in Berlin, Friday, April 1, 2022. (Andreas Gora/dpa via AP)

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — Nottingham Forest has signed forward Taiwo Awoniyi after paying a club-record transfer fee to Union Berlin, making the Nigerian its first international signing since returning to the Premier League.

The 24-year-old Awoniyi signed a five-year contract after Forest paid the Bundesliga club a fee reported to be around 17 million pounds ($21 million). Forest announced Saturday it was a record fee but didn't specify the amount.

Awoniyi, who had joined Liverpool as a teenager before going out on loan, scored 20 goals in 43 games for Union last season.

"It's always been my dream to play in the Premier League and having spoken to (manager) Steve Cooper about our ambitions and looking at Forest, with its great history, it's a club that I want to be part of," Awoniyi said of his move to the City Ground.

Awoniyi, who made his Nigeria debut last year, had joined Union on loan during the 2020-21 season and made the move permanent last July.

"He's a player who we really believe in and we look forward to him going on to fulfill his potential and become a top Premier League striker with Nottingham Forest," Cooper said.

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