Gianfranco Zola: 'Pozzo family's decision not to sell Matej Vydra shows Watford's ambition this season'
A delighted Gianfranco Zola believes the Pozzo family’s decision not to sell Matej Vydra shows Watford have serious ambitions this season.
Vydra’s form since his arrival in the summer has attracted the attention of five Premier League sides and the striker’s parent club Udinese rejected a bid from one of those teams, according to his agent.
The Czech Republic international’s representative Ondrej Chovanec denied rumours Roma had expressed an interest in his client earlier this week but didn’t rule out a switch to the Italian club.
Chovanec had last week said it was "very likely" Vydra would be signing permanently for Watford before the deadline closed and Zola remained confident the move would happen throughout despite the speculation.
Speaking to the Watford Observer yesterday (Thursday) evening, Zola said: "I’m delighted [Vydra is still here]. It proves that the club are serious about the ambitions we have this year. We are underlining what we have promised and that is a very good sign."
At the weekend, Zola joked he had broken his phone in a bid to make sure Vydra remained at Watford.
"I have broken my phone so they can try phoning me but they won’t find me that is for sure," Zola joked.
"I have no doubt in my mind [he will stay]. I have had no indication that he is leaving and I think the club want to keep him and the player I believe wants to stay so we should be alright."
He continued: "As far as I understand it, the player wants to stay here as well because we can help him keep improving.
"I don’t think Matej believes he has already got to the top and he knows there are still margins to improve and that is what we are going to be working with him on.
"I think he can give Watford the edge because there will be many teams looking for him."
"Here he can have the attention he needs and maybe next year he will be playing for us in the Premier League," Zola added.
Vydra, who Zola described as "a good boy who works very hard", has scored ten goals in his last five starts.
The 20-year-old is on a season-long loan from Udinese and Watford are confident of securing his services permanently – although the Championship club were not in a rush to tie him down before the end of January due to the relationship with Udinese.
The striker has scored 18 goals in 25 league appearances this season, nine of which were from the substitutes bench.
On the interest from Roma, Vydra’s agent told Gazzetta Giallorossa: "No, honestly I never talked to any of the leaders at Roma. For the moment there are no offers from the Giallorossi.
"Everything is possible. For the moment there is only one offer from a Premier League club but it was rejected by Udinese.
"The player of course liked the interest of Roma. We like their style of work, their play, we like (Zdenek) Zeman. If the offer is right, never say never."
It was a largely uneventful transfer deadline day for the Hornets yesterday (Thursday). Chris Iwelumo joined Oldham Athletic on loan and Piero Mingoia has linked up with Boreham Wood on a temporary deal, but there had been no arrivals when the Watford Observer went to press at 5.30pm.
There had been claims Watford bid £2m for highly-rated Birmingham City winger Nathan Redmond but we understand that was not the case.
Watford were reportedly interested in young Napoli striker Soma Novothny, according to the player’s father, but Zola denied that was the case.
The 18-year-old has been linked with several clubs in Europe and Otto Novthny claimed he could be tempted to link up with former Napoli coach Dodo Sormani, who now works at the Hornets.
However, Zola said: "No, there is no truth in that. I don’t know anything about that.
"The only thing which may happen tonight (Thursday) is if we can find loan clubs for some of the players who are not playing for us as they need to find a team. So that is the only thing I’m expecting to see."
The Hornets had attempted to sign Manchester City midfielder Jeremy Helan towards the end of last week on a permanent deal but the left-sided Frenchman, who can also play at full back, returned to Sheffield Wednesday on a youth loan until the end of the season.
Wednesday boss Dave Jones told BBC Radio Sheffield "we cannot match what they [Watford] are offering" last Friday but the 22-year-old re-signed for the club until the remainder of the campaign on Tuesday.
Iwelumo and Mingoia have both agreed loan deals until the end of the season.
Iwelumo has scored five goals for the Hornets since joining from Burnley in the summer of 2011 but has not played for the first team since October, spending six weeks on loan at Notts County.
Mingoia made seven appearances for Watford during his debut season as a professional but he has not featured for the first team under Zola or Sean Dyche.
The 21-year-old made eight appearances at Hayes and Yeading last season and nine on loan at Accrington Stanley earlier in the current campaign.
One of the positives from yesterday’s transfer deadline day from a Watford perspective was Danny Graham’s move from Swansea City to Sunderland.
The Hornets agreed a 15 per cent sell-on clause when Graham left the club to join Swansea in 2011 – with the Golden Boys receiving 15 per cent on any profit above the £3.5m the Swans paid for the striker.
Graham, who scored 41 goals in 98 games for Watford, yesterday joined Sunderland in a £5m move, which will result in the club landing £225,000.