Watford will not be able to announce the permanent signings of their loan players until the summer transfer window reopens.
The Hornets are keen to sign the likes of Daniel Pudil, Almen Abdi and Matej Vydra on permanent contracts after their successful loan spells.
The club’s owners, the Pozzo family, also control Udinese and Granada, where ten of the loan players are contracted, but Watford will still have to abide by the football authorities’ rules and will not be able to sign the loanees on permanent contracts before the transfer window reopens in the summer.
The Hornets have an advantage when it comes to negotiations due to the Pozzos and talks between the club and the players’ representatives can take place, but nothing can be finalised or formally announced.
Some supporters have suggested Udinese and Granada could release the relevant players from their contracts so Watford could sign them permanently now. Whilst they could technically do so, we understand this will not be considered.
Head coach Gianfranco Zola was quoted at the weekend as saying: “We are working on getting it done this week and I believe both parties want it so we are trying very hard.”
But we understand Zola was referring to an agreement between the player and Watford. If such an agreement is made, it is extremely unlikely the club would comment on the matter at present.
Speaking after the window closed, the Hornets’ technical director Gian Luca Nani told the club’s website last Friday: “All of the players coming from Udinese and Granada are proud to be involved in what we hope will be a productive season for the club, and we are in turn delighted with their involvement.
“These players all have long contracts with their respective parent clubs and the right time will arrive to discuss their futures. At the present moment, we are all focused on producing positive results on the pitch for Watford.”
He continued: “At the conclusion of this window, we find ourselves in a satisfactory state. Our primary objective was to reduce the squad size and to retain players that we feel will be important to achieving our goals this season.”
Nani added the Hornets had “kept a close eye on the market to see if any suitable opportunities arose” but “didn’t target a particular position...as we trust in the ability currently present in the squad.”