Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Owner Giampaolo Pozzo says he expects Matej Vydra to stay at Watford next season despite Premier League interest
Watford owner Giampaolo Pozzo has provided disappointed Hornets supporters with a huge boost by stating that he expects top scorer Matej Vydra to stay with the club next season.
Vydra’s 22 goals this season has attracted the attention of a host of Premier League clubs and the striker has been subject to speculation for several months.
The 21-year-old has two years left on his Udinese contract and it is claimed the Pozzos, who also own the Italian club and Granada in Spain, want to tie him down to a new five-year deal – the family try to secure all their best young players on long-term contracts.
In an interview with Udineseblog.it, Giampaolo Pozzo was asked whether he expected Watford to retain Vydra. He replied: “Absolutely; we want to make the team stronger to do better. He will stay at Watford.”
When asked a similar question, he responded: “Of course [he will stay].”
Giampaolo Pozzo and his son, Gino, work closely with their representatives at all three clubs when deciding the futures of their large pool of players.
Udinese’s hierarchy have indicated to Italian media that they expect Vydra to be at Watford next season unless there is a truly remarkable offer from a big club.
The role of fellow Czech Republic international Daniel Pudil could be key.
Vydra has relied heavily on the support of the full back, who acts as his translator for interviews and let the striker live with his family for a few months following their arrival last summer.
Pudil has stated he will do “everything to stay” at Watford for next season and beyond and last week told the Watford Observer “I’m sure everyone who is here would love to stay next season even if we stay in the Championship”.
It is sure to be a busy few months for technical director Gian Luca Nani and chief executive Scott Duxbury as Watford have just 14 players currently contracted beyond this summer – with Troy Deeney, Jonathan Hogg and Nyron Nosworthy the only three who would be considered experienced first team players, with youngsters like Fernando Forestieri, Tommie Hoban and Sean Murray among that group.
Some of those players, namely Carl Dickinson and Craig Forsyth, may also move on having spent much of this season out on loan.
Watford must inform the Football League of who will be released this summer by the end of today (Friday), although the club do not have to release the information to the wider public.
Watford took the, understandable albeit unusual, decision to put all negotiations on hold until after the play-off final on Monday but talks have now begun.
The Golden Boys’ technical director told the Watford Observer on Wednesday: “We are in talks with several players right now with a view to keeping the core of the squad that did so well this season together for next year.”
The Hornets are currently under a ‘transfer embargo’ until August 31 but they are still able to conduct their normal transfer business subject to Football League approval.
Nani initially spoke to the Watford Observer in the mix zone at Wembley immediately after the extra-time defeat to Crystal Palace.
The Italian said negotiations with the loan players from Udinese and Granada shouldn’t be a problem but added it was too early to state who would remain.
Nani said: “All the players this season have a big commitment with us and Watford. We only lost half-an-hour ago so we haven’t had time to talk about that but we will try to keep the best squad we can. We are happy with this squad.”
He added: “I can’t say that [I expect the likes of Vydra to stay] because I haven’t talked with them yet but I know all of the players who were on loan this season are really proud and really happy to play for Watford.
“Next season we will try to keep the best squad we can but at the moment I don’t know [who is staying] because I have not talked to anyone. It is too early.”
Watford are likely to be linked with a host of players this summer and the speculation started days after the play-off final defeat.
Italian website Udineseblog.it claim Udinese strikers Odion Ighalo and Mathias Ranégie and defender Daniele Mori could join the Hornets in the coming months.
Comments are closed on this article.