Ben Watson is joining Nottingham Forest because he believes in their project to reach the Premier League, according to Aitor Karanka.

The midfielder’s move to the City Ground is expected to be finally confirmed in the next 24 hours, with the Nottingham Post reporting the 32-year-old has agreed terms on the move.

Watson, who will join Forest as a free agent after his contract at Vicarage Road was terminated by mutual consent on Wednesday, was at Craven Cottage yesterday to watch Karanka’s side get beaten 2-0 by Fulham.

The Forest boss told the Nottingham Post: “He is a Premier League player, he is an experienced player and a quality player. He is a man who wants to come to join us, which is the most important thing for me.

“I do not want to bring players in, just because we have offered them more money or a longer contract.

“It is the opposite. The players who have signed here have come because they want to be at Forest and they want to be part of things here. They believe in this project and that is more important than anything else.”

On-loan Watford goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon made his debut in the defeat against former Hornets boss Slavisa Jokanovic’s in-form side, while another familiar face at Vicarage Road, Adlene Guedioura, was also in the starting XI having made a deadline day return to his former club.