Watford have contacted Sunderland over out-of-favour midfielder Didier Ndong, the Watford Observer understands.

Ndong has not started a game for the Stadium of Light club since early November and has featured only twice in brief cameo substitute appearances since then, and is believed to be an £8 million target for the Hornets.

Watford are one of a number of clubs interested in the Gabon midfielder, but are keen to make additions to their squad in the middle of the park during January, in spite of the options already on the club's books.

The Hornets have been rocked by long-term injuries to Nathaniel Chalobah and now Will Hughes, which has resulted in Abdoulaye Doucoure starting every game he has been available in the Premier League.

Even Ben Watson made a pair of rare starts, his first in the league since May 2016, over the Christmas period, but he has been linked with both Crystal Palace and Cardiff in recent days.

Ndong was a relative success in Sunderland's relegation season from the Premier League under David Moyes in 2016/17, and was regarded as one of the Black Cats' better players despite their woeful campaign.

But he has not pushed on in the second tier and looks to be out of new boss Chris Coleman's plans for the future, less than 18 months since he signed for the club for £14 million from Lorient.