Quique Sanchez Flores has reiterated his admiration for Emmanuel Adebayor and stressed Watford’s business in the January window will be focused on quality rather than quantity.
The destination of Adebayor is already the story of the transfer window and Watford know it would have been foolhardy not to register their interest in a player of Adebayor’s Premier League experience, ability and know how.
In fact, it says a lot about their ambition and just how far the club have come in a very short space of time that they are even in the running for a player who can count Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur among his former clubs.
Chelsea’s need for a striker may scupper Watford’s chances of landing him but, according to the Daily Telegraph, any team who signs him will have to agree with Daniel Levy over how much of his £100,000-a-week salary they will fund until next summer. Chelsea have the means to pay a greater percentage than, say, Watford but Levy may not want to do business with Chelsea, especially with Tottenham pushing for a Champions League spot.
Watford have already done business this summer with Spurs over Etienne Capoue and had bids accepted for Benjamin Stambouli and Younes Kaboul.
Sanchez Flores has been around the block long enough not to count his chickens, and will keep his thoughts about the player in house, so all he would say this morning when asked about the player was:
“He is a very good player but we have names in our list,” he said. “Adebayor is on the list but we have to consider the best option.”
Key for Sanchez Flores is to bring in players ready to hit the ground running. He does not have time, in the middle of the season with games coming thick and fast, to integrate more players who are not up to the physical and experience level he demands. A classic No 9, at least one winger and a goalkeeper are on the shopping list.
“We are very clear the areas we need,” he said. “We are working with the club, the sporting director, the CEO, with the idea to improve the team. We worked a lot in the summer and we are very clear what we need in the winter market.”
Sanchez Flores pushed hard in the summer to sign Joaquín, the Spain international winger he worked with at Valencia. He lost out to Real Betis in the race to sign him but the 34-year-old is the type of experienced player he is after.
“The names are not exactly the most important thing,” said Sanchez Flores. “What is right is the quality and conditions of the players [we want to sign]. For one position we have a list of three or four players. Whether we get No 1 or No 4 on the list is not important. The qualities of the player and their physical level is important.”
With all the foreign spots in the 24-man squad taken up, Sanchez Flores confirmed that “some need to go out” to create room for new foreign signings. Jose Holebas, as we reported in September, will leave if a buyer is found, likewise with Essaid Belkalem. There are also doubts over the futures of Victor Ibarbo and Alessandro Diamanti.
Ibarbo has not featured since Arsenal, playing only 42 minutes of action since joining from Cagliari on loan. Diamanti has played only 20 minutes of Premier League matches since coming on for the second half against Southampton.