Forest plan Ben Brereton stay amid Manchester United, Liverpool talk

Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has played down speculation linking young forward Ben Brereton with Manchester United and Liverpool.

Brereton, 17, had been linked with a move in the January window, and the rumours have intensified after he was brought into the first team by caretaker manager Gary Brazil, impressing on his first start in a 2-0 win over Rotherham on Jan. 31 before striking a late winner against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Forest have sold a number of academy graduates in recent years, including the £13 million sale of Oliver Burke to RB Leipzig in August, while current first-team midfielders Ben Osborn and Matty Cash have been linked with exits.

Asked about Brereton by the Nottingham Post, though, Al Hasawi said: "Why would we want to sell him?

"We have similar players coming through the academy -- we have invested money in the academy and Gary has done an amazing job, which is why we have good players coming through now.

"We have given Gary everything he has asked for and we now have some good players coming through as a result. We have very good players coming through, in fact and that is very positive for the future of the club. We want them to play here."

A source close to Liverpool told ESPN FC that the links with Brereton are "just rumours" at this stage.

Al Hasawi has been reinvesting in the club and trying to win over supporters since an attempted takeover bid fell through, prompting protests.

Brazil, who is working as caretaker manager after running Forest's academy, has said he wants to build the team around the club's youth graduates.

"We have a nucleus of young players that, when you look three or four years down the line, is only going to get stronger," he said. "We have players coming through the academy who I know very, very well could have big futures in the game."