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Watford boss Gianfranco Zola hopeful of more signings and Troy Deeney deal 'nearing an agreement'
Watford head coach Gianfranco Zola is hopeful the club can secure the permanent signings of several other loanees in the near future and the Hornets are also “nearing an agreement” over Troy Deeney’s new deal.
Fernando Forestieri became the first Udinese or Granada player to move to the Hornets on a permanent contract this week, agreeing a five-and-a-half-year deal.
Watford are understood to be in talks with loanees Matej Vydra, Almen Abdi and Daniel Pudil regarding a new deal, with Joel Ekstrand another player the club are said to be interested in.
When asked if he was hopeful of securing more loan players on permanent contracts soon, Zola told the Watford Observer: “Yes, very much so.
“I think signing Fernando means the club are serious about Watford, about what they want Watford to be. So I’m sure there will soon be other signings and that is all good news. We are all working to make sure that happens and this club has a bright future.”
The Italian refused to confirm which players the club were in talks with though, saying: “I’m sorry but I cannot disclose that information. Not to you, not to anybody.
“But yes, we are working with the players that can be successful. They are good players, we want to keep them and we are looking forward to improving the squad. So the club are working on that.”
Vydra’s excellent displays this season has led to the Czech Republic international being linked with other clubs this week, namely Weat Ham United and Southampton, but Watford are in talks with the player’s representatives regarding a permanent move.
The Pozzo family, who took control of Watford in the summer, also own Vydra’s parent club Udinese but all the players have individual agents and would have to agree to a permanent switch individually.
Watford have also been in contract talks with Deeney, whose current deal expires in the summer.
The Hornets’ chief executive Scott Duxbury said: “We have met for a second time with the player’s representatives and are nearing an agreement. Both meetings have been very positive and we are optimistic that the matter can be progressed.”
Watford confirmed other clubs had expressed an interest in midfielder Mark Yeates last week. We understand Bristol City were keen on the midfielder but their interest has declined since Derek McInnes was sacked on Saturday. Ipswich Town are also said to be interested in the Irishman.
Zola said: “Mark has done very well for us and he’s got the eye of other teams, so we’ll see. The situation with Mark depends a lot on what he wants to do. For me he is an important player and we will see what happens but we have to consider his opinion and what he wants to do as well.”
There have been continued rumours linking midfielder Jonathan Hogg with Ipswich but we understand there has been no interest from the Tractor Boys and the club have no intention of selling the 24-year-old. The Hornets’ hierarchy consider him a key member of the squad.
Another rumour which circulated this week was Cardiff City being interested in goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, whose contract expires this summer. Watford confirmed he was one of a number of young players with whom contract negotiations are ongoing.
One player who did leave Watford this week was Jean Alain-Fanchone, who had his loan deal terminated by mutual consent after just one appearance for the Hornets.
This enabled the left-back to join French second division side Nimes on loan from Udinese until the end of the season.
Another player set to depart Vicarage Road, albeit temporarily, is young striker Bernard Mensah, who signed a three-and-a-half-year deal last week.
Non-league side Wealdstone were keen to sign the 18-year-old but there have been enquiries from professional clubs. New head of academy Chris McGuane will be talking to Mensah about his different options.