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Pantilimon back at Forest on three-year deal

Costel Pantilimon.
Costel Pantilimon.

Nottingham Forest have successfully secured giant Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon on a permanent basis with a three-year contract after his impressive loan spell last season.

Boss Aitor Karanka hopes the 31-year-old will repay Forest’s faith in him, after the club helped to revive his career during his loan spell in the second-tier last season.

“We wanted him to come back again because he was important for us and we were important for him,” said Karanka.

“Sometimes people forget that he had not been playing very much in the last few years.

“In the same way that he was good for us, the club, the coaching staff and everyone else here were good with him.

“I think that is the relationship we have to create with every single player.”

Pantilimon, who stands at 6ft 8ins, made 13 Championship starts with four clean sheets following his arrival in January, but missed the final month of the season due to a personal issue.

However, the former ACS Poli, Manchester City and Sunderland star was adamant he wanted to return to Forest on a permanent basis, having spent the first half of last season on loan at Deportivo.

Beginning his career in his home country with FC Politehnica Timisoara, Pantilimon moved to Manchester City in 2012 and went on to win the Premier League title and the League Cup in 2013-14, as well as featuring in the Champions League, before he joined Sunderland.

After two years in the North East, Pantilimon joined Watford in 2015

He has become the third signing in a week following the arrival of striker Hillal Soudani from Dinamo Zagreb and free agent right back Jack Robinson, following his departure from QPR.