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Watford confident Udinese trio Almen Abdi, Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri plus Granada's Daniel Pudil will sign permanently
The Hornets are confident they can secure the permanent signings of Daniel Pudil, Almen Abdi, Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri in January, the Watford Observer understands.
The quartet have been the most impressive of the 12 loanees who arrived from Udinese and Granada in the summer and news their temporary stays look set to become permanent will be warmly welcomed by supporters.
Watford made 14 loan signings following the Pozzo family’s takeover in the summer and Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is the only one without an option to buy.
So there was always a likelihood several of the loanees would remain beyond this season but securing Pudil, Abdi, Vydra and Forestieri on permanent deals will be a real coup for the Championship side.
Watford’s technical director Gian Luca Nani named Vydra and Forestieri as two players who were keen to sign for the Hornets permanently at last Thursday’s fans’ forum and the Watford Observer understands the club are in advanced talks with the quartet about securing their services.
Nani said: “We try to find players to bring here that really don’t want to go [elsewhere]. They want to stay in Watford and we want to keep these players.
“Last week, players like Vydra and Forestieri and other players told me how ‘I really feel good here, I want to stay here instead of going back and going to other places’.
“It is really good and I’m really proud about that. But if we have the chance to use also the scouting network that we have all around the world [through Udinese] then why not?”
Some have criticised the Hornets’ decision to sign 14 loan players in the summer but chief executive Scott Duxbury stressed they are ‘Watford players’ and they are only loanees due to the new regime’s late arrival at the club.
He said: “The players wanted to come here and if everything works out and we want them to stay then we will make the moves permanent.
“We have options on all of them and it was purely a technicality when the window was closing.
“The game against Charlton away showed their passion; these players want to be here and they are not mercenaries who will suddenly go back. They want to stay and they are Watford players.
“The squad should be smaller, around 25 or 26, and next season that will be the case.
“But all the players who want to stay, and we want to stay, will stay,” he added.
Head coach Gianfranco Zola said that if the loan players “are not good enough or do not fulfil the expectations we have” then they will not sign for the Hornets.
He said: “I am here not because, in all due respect, I want to spend my life in the Championship, which is a very high level.
“I am an ambitious manager and I want us to play at a higher level and at this club there are players who share my ambition.
“That is where we are heading to and the Pozzo family have no interest in Watford playing in the Championship for a long time.”
Duxbury also used the fans’ forum to dismiss claims some of the players were now owned by Udinese, stating “it simply isn’t true, we own all our own players”.
Watford’s CEO and technical director have both stressed they are looking to bring in their own young talent and not just rely on Udinese players in the future.
And the Hornets are extremely close to completing the signing of a 15-year-old boy who Nani claims was wanted by “all the important clubs”.
The Hornets chief executive added: “It is an international boy we found through our scouting network and all the terms have been agreed so it should be completed any day now.”