The process of settling upon the right No.9 in the summer included Valerien Ismael instantly turning down a well-known client of agent Mogi Bayat . . . former Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis.

It has become almost unheard of for a Bayat player that is mooted as a potential signing not to then join the club, often regardless of if the incumbent head coach wanted that player or not.

However, Ismael said that during the summer he said no when Dennis was put forward as a potential signing, and was met with no dissension from within the club.

“His name came on my desk, but I said no. Simple as that,” said the Watford boss.

Another name heavily linked with the Hornets was South Korean international Cho Gue-sung, who eventually signed for Danish side Midtjylland.

“There were a lot of names, but I didn’t speak with that player. Because I didn’t speak with the player, you cannot say we ever discussed anything,” said Ismael.

“I saw his name on the list, I watched some clips, but we were not confident enough to say that he was the one.”

So, how did the Hornets end up with Mileta Rajovic, and why did that particular hunt for a player take until the penultimate day of the transfer window?

“We had a number of players who fitted the profile of the No.9, and we were working on them at the same time,” Ismael explained.

“Some didn’t work out for whatever reason, but you keep working on the others until you get to the one. Rajovic was the one.

“You have a list of names that you like and you start to work out which ones are possible, and which ones don’t fit.

“Often we were being used by agents, who used the name of Watford. You give an offer to a striker and say we are trying to come for you, the agent runs to another club and says he has an offer from Watford, and if you want the player you need to put more money on the table.

“Sometimes the other club does that, and then the agent comes back to us and says we need to put more money on the table. And so it goes on, and at some point you have to stop it.

“There is a figure for any player that we, as a club, agree on. If I say I want a player I will have a strong influence on what that figure is. I also have a feeling for when the market is being exaggerated.

“I won’t be used as an auction, which is what some agents try to do.

“If we have that feeling that our valuation is right, then at some point we have to say no. We have to be strong, say no and focus on our other targets.”

Ismael tapped the area of his heart when explaining that decisions on which players to sign are not purely based upon the financials.

“It is also about the right player who fits with our philosophy and mentality,” he said, “It is not only about the money.

“So it wasn’t case that we didn’t have players available to us. It was that financially, or personally, or both, we didn’t feel the player was right.

“I spoke with one striker for example, and everything was fine. The numbers, the agent, the financials. But the conversation I had with the player left me feeling he was not the right player for us.

“So then the club would say no, and we wouldn’t complete the deal.

“Sometimes the reason you say no is financial, sometimes it is a feeling, sometimes it’s both.

“I have now been in this business for more than 30 years, and you have to listen to your feelings. You have to trust what you believe.

“If you think it’s not the right player, don’t do it.”