Newcastle United have made contact with Watford over the possible signing of Will Hughes as the midfielder’s contract negotiations continue.

Talks over a new deal have been ongoing since the end of last season, with the player stating as far back as May that he had “no thoughts” about moving to any other club.

However, as of yet a deal has not been struck between Hughes and the Hornets, and Newcastle, as well as Aston Villa, have made their interest known.

Should a new contract not be signed, Watford may feel they have no choice but to cash in on their asset or else risk losing him for free at the end of the upcoming season when his deal expires.

Asked in May about his situation, Hughes claimed he was not worried about having to agree a new deal and that he was leaving it in the hands of the club and his agent to sort the issue out.

“I’m really happy here, I’m settled, back in the Premier League. There’s nothing better and that’s how I want it to remain. It’s as simple as that,” said Hughes.

“There’s no thoughts in my head about not me moving elsewhere.

“That’s in my agent’s and the club’s hands. That’s not something I’m really concerned about and it’s not something that I’ve really thought about. I’ll give my all for Watford until my contract is up.”

Newcastle’s interest is understood not to have advanced beyond an initial approach yet, however reports elsewhere suggest the Hornets value Hughes at somewhere around the £12million mark.

The Magpies are also reportedly considering including midfielder Isaac Hayden as part of an offer.

Another player who Watford are keen to tie down to a new contract is Nathaniel Chalobah, whose situation is the same as that of Hughes.

His deal expires at the end of the season and it may be financially beneficial for the club to entertain offers rather than allow him to leave for free next June, should a new contract not be signed.

One player who is very unlikely to be signing a deal with Watford any time soon is Galatasaray man Mbaye Diagne, contrary to reports in Turkey.

Watford Observer:

While the player was included in a list of potential striking options at the beginning of the summer, the Watford Observer understands that he is no longer of interest and unlikely to join, unless other targets cannot be obtained.

Nevertheless, strikers are still the priority for Watford this summer, but as it stands they do have options at their disposal.

Cucho Hernandez is expected to return in the next week, while new arrivals Ashley Fletcher and Emmanuel Dennis are also hoping to make a contribution.

Furthermore, Kwadwo Baah is expected to play a part in the squad initially.

The club are open to loan offers for the striker, with Sheffield Wednesday reported to be interested, but it is now understood that options are not likely to be considered until Watford have had a proper chance to assess the player’s level and which clubs could improve him enough for the move to be worthwhile.

Watford Observer:

Elsewhere, Paul Onuachu from Genk is a player the club admire, but is now thought to be an unlikely target, with the Hornets feeling they could be priced out of a move for him.

The Nigerian’s impressive form with the Belgian side has also drawn interest from Arsenal and West Ham, as he scored 29 in 33 in the Jupiler League last season and 35 from 41 games in all competitions.