John Eustace is set to bring his five-and-a-half-year stay at Vicarage Road to an end in pursuit of more regular first-team football.

The Hornets were keen to hold on to their club captain, pictured, with a view to offering him a coaching role in the future but Eustace is not yet ready to hang up his boots and wants to play more often.

Eustace’s agent Colin Gordon said: “Watford wanted John to stay involved with the club in some capacity but John wants to continue playing.

“[Head coach] Gianfranco Zola really likes him as a bloke and really wanted him to stay around the place and everyone who knows John knows he will make a top manager one day.

“But he wants to continue playing – he wanted assurances about playing time and things like that and Watford couldn’t give him that.

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t come to an agreement and that it’s petered out in this way but the club have been very fair with us and we part on good terms.”

Gordon added that “three or four clubs” have expressed an interest in Eustace and one of those clubs is believed to be League One side Swindon Town.

Sources close to Swindon say the club have made contact with Eustace’s representatives this week and the Robins are keen to strike a deal.

The 33-year-old struggled with injuries last season but remained a highly valued member of the Watford squad despite his playing time being limited.

At the beginning of last month, Zola said: “The problem with John is he’s been unlucky – he’s been out for most of the season and his fitness has not been as good as many of the others.

“But his support and his presence has always been appreciated by everyone and that is very important.

“Having people like John involved even if they’re not on the pitch makes a big difference.”

The 33-year-old made his debut for Watford in February 2008 after joining in January of the same year and he has gone on to make 168 appearances for the club.