Watford are on the verge of completing the signing of Canadian international midfielder Ismael Kone on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

The 20-year-old has just made three appearances for Canada at the World Cup, and the final bits of paperwork of his transfer from CF Montreal are being completed.

He has already undergone a medical, and I understand Watford could officially announce the signing as early as tomorrow.

He will join up with the Watford squad on January 1.

Although the fee is expected to be undisclosed, it has been suggested it will be a new record amount received by CF Montreal, beating the €6m they banked for USA international Djordje Mihailovic who will move to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar on January 1.

He is the third player to leave Montreal in recent months to head to Europe, with fellow Canadian international Alistair Johnson agreeing to join Scottish side Celtic a couple of days ago.

It has been a meteoric rise for Kone, who was playing semi-professional football for CS Saint-Laurent in Montreal as recently as 2020.

In the recent MLS season he made 26 appearances for Montreal, scoring twice and claiming five assists.

He then scored as Montreal beat Orlando in the qualifying round of the MLS play-offs before they went out to New York City in the quarter-finals.

Kone only made his Canada debut in March in a World Cup qualifying game against Costa Rica, and he has since gone on to earn nine caps, scoring his first international goal in Canada’s 2-2 draw in a friendly with Bahrain in November.

He came off the bench in all three of Canada’s World Cup Finals Group F games, getting 32 minutes against Belgium, the whole second half against Croatia and 29 minutes in the match with Morocco.

It’s understood Kone, who was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to Canada at the age of seven, had attracted the attention of both Sheffield United and Norwich, but the Hornets moved swiftly and decisively to land the highly-rated young talent.