Watford remain interested in signing Emmanuel Adebayor on a short-term deal next month but are relaxed about the prospect of revisiting their shortlist should they opt against signing the former Tottenham Hotspur striker.
WD Sport understands the club’s key decision makers are confident they can come to an agreement with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, over what proportion they will pay of the £110,000 a week the striker is being paid by Spurs until the end of the season. We understand the figure Watford have in mind is less than 50 per cent and that Adebayor is receptive to a move to Vicarage Road. He is no longer thought to be represented by Darren Dein.
Galatasaray and Chelsea are also thought to be in the running to sign the 31-year-old, but the former would mean relocating from London while Chelsea could find it difficult to thrash out a deal with Tottenham as they are still viewed as top-four contenders, despite a wretched start to the defence of their Premier League title.
Quique Sanchez Flores is a known admirer of the player and can ask David Silva and Sergio Aguero, among others, for a character reference but he is keen not to reveal his hand and prefers to talk tactics than transfers.
“I don’t want to talk about specific names, I’d just like to see what happens in the market,” said the head coach in a radio interview after Saturday’s win over Norwich City. “At the moment I’d like to talk about the cover we need and the cover for the strikers in the future.”
It has been reported that Adebayor was invited to train with Watford last month but the head coach said the training ground, where all his key work takes place, is not somewhere for out of contract players to get fit.
“Invite him? No,” said Sanchez Flores. “If someone comes to train with us it isn’t because they are invited, it is because they are part of the Watford team. But for now we are not talking about any names because the market opens in one month.”
Everyone is in the hunt for a striker these days – Norwich are likely to sign Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace in January – but the need for a senior striker is particularly acute at Watford who play with two recognised strikers and only have 19-year-old Obbi Oulare as back up.
“Quique Sanchez Flores has come into the league and what he’s done has been fantastic,” Jamie Carragher said on Monday Night Football. “He’s got two up front and they play like a proper front two. There are only two other players at Watford who have scored, so he knows the strength of the team; get the ball into those two. It’s not one playing in the hole, they’re right up against centre-backs.”
There is likely to be a shortlist of as many as half a dozen strikers that will be worked through should a deal for Adebayor not materialise.