Watford hope Mike Williamson will make a sensational return to the club just four months after the centre-half handed in a written transfer request and left the Hornets.

The Watford Observer understands an approach has been made to Portsmouth over the possibility of loaning back the defender who joined the Premier League club in September as part of a £3m deal.

Williamson was one of the Hornets' star performers in the second half of last season following his £150,000 moved from Wycombe Wanderers this time last year.

But after Portsmouth had an initial bid rejected, Williamson handed in a transfer request and declared himself "unfit" to travel to Swansea the following Saturday.

Following the match, Watford boss Malky Mackay criticised Williamson's behaviour and said the want-away defender should have behaved more like Tommy Smith, who had sealed his own move to Portsmouth the previous Thursday.

However, we understand Mackay and Williamson had a lengthy discussion before the player left to join Pompey and still have a good relationship.

Centre back has been a position the Hornets have been keen to strengthen all season and following Craig Cathcart's return to Manchester United last month, the club have been actively looking to bring in a replacement.

Watford's financial problems are well documented and although there is a small amount of money available, the club will continue to depend on the loan market to bring in the much-needed experience Mackay is desperate for.

Williamson has yet to make his Portsmouth debut, despite costing the club an initial £2m, but with the club's current transfer embargo and Aruna Dindane, Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda and Kanu all at the African Cup of Nations, the former Southampton man may be needed at Fratton Park in the coming weeks.

We understand Williamson and Watford legend Heidar Helguson are the club's top two transfer targets in January.

On Helguson, Mackay reiterated: "I would love to keep Heidar and have him back here. I will be trying everything we can to get him back here.

"He has been a great professional and servant to this football club for the second time and I will be trying everything I can do to get him back."