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Defensive midfielder is Watford's number one target before transfer window closes
Watford’s number one transfer target is a defensive midfielder and their head coach is only expecting one or two more signings before the summer window closes.
The Hornets have added nine new additions this summer and completed 16 summer signings, if you include Manuel Almunia, who became a free agent, and the loanees from last season joining permanently.
Jonathan Hogg’s decision to leave the club for Huddersfield Town – in a deal which we understand was worth just over £400,000 with additional incentives and a sell-on clause – has meant Watford are seeking another defensive-minded midfielder.
There are ten days of the summer transfer window remaining before it closes on Monday, September 2.
The Golden Boys’ head coach Gianfranco Zola was initially reluctant to discuss whether he expected any more signings before that day, saying: “I don’t know [if there will be more signings] and I don’t want to talk about. I would rather talk about the players at the club.
“If another club, and our club, decide they want to make improvements then we will talk about it.”
When pressed further, he added: “I don’t want to talk about it because the situation is the same.
“Because we lost Jonathan Hogg, there might be one midfielder coming in and maybe if we send somebody on loan then maybe we will have two midfielders come in but that is it. Other than that, we will stay the way we are.”
Watford signed experienced holding midfielder Iriney two weeks before Hogg’s departure and they have been using the versatile Connor Smith as his back-up so far this season.
Zola confirmed: “The first target will be a defensive midfielder in order to give an alternative to Iriney and Connor Smith.
“But if we decide to send somebody on loan to play then there might be another type of midfielder.”
Watford have several young professionals in the midfield and attacking areas and other clubs have expressed an interest in taking some players on loan.
The club is currently deciding whether to allow the players out on loan as they consider temporary replacements, which are likely to be youngsters from Premier League clubs.
“There might be one or two who will go out on loan to get games but it will depend on whether we can bring somebody in,” Zola said.
“We have had requests for players to go on loan and play but we are considering those. At the moment we want to keep everyone here and we will see in the next few days whether to send anyone out on loan to play.”
One player who is likely to leave permanently this season is Ross Jenkins, but he is currently injured with a minor groin problem.
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