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Peterborough striker on the radar and Ighalo not for sale

Watford are monitoring the form of Jonathan Edwards, Peterborough’s teenage striker who is on loan at St Albans City.

Edwards, who turned 19 last month, made three League One appearances for Posh at the end of last season and has been a prolific goalscorer at youth-team level. He joined St Albans earlier this month on a short-term loan deal and scored a stunning winner against Maidenhead United.

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The Luton-born striker is not being considered with a view to him joining Quique Sanchez Flores’ Premier League squad. Watford are always on the look out for players to boost their Under-21 resources, as they showed with the recent signing of goalkeeper Luke Simpson, and the Pozzos have built their footballing empire on taking calculated punts on players like Edwards.

The signing of a striker in his mid-twenties, to provide backup to Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, remains the priority. Emmanuel Adebayor, for so long, had been considered a very attractive and sound financial option on a short-term deal when retaining Premier League status was the sole objective. Now in seventh, 12 points off the drop zone, Watford can take longer term decisions, using the rest of the campaign to integrate a striker for next season if the right target, with top-flight experience who can come straight into the squad, becomes available in January. Adebayor was always going to be a short-term solution so the interest in him has been shelved.

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The club still retain huge faith in Obbi Oulare, although it was strange to see him relegated from the bench, against Liverpool, to non-traveller against Chelsea and then to one of two travelling reserves yesterday. The Belgium Under-21 striker has not played any senior competitive football since August.

The club have again reiterated to us this morning that Odion Ighalo will not be sold in January and it would take a mind-blowing offer in the summer, upwards of £30m, for the board to even contemplate selling someone whose goals have established them as a top-half Premier League outfit.

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Although the Pozzo family have a proven track record of selling their most coveted players for an optimum fee, the financial landscape in the Premier League is completely different to Serie A. Premier League clubs are not as reliant on player trading as others in Europe and do want to jeopardise their place in the money-spinning top flight by cashing in on a player so important to the success of the team. The money men at Vicarage Road will also factor in the cost of replacing Ighalo when it comes to placing a valuation on him.

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Atletico Madrid, the former club of Sanchez Flores, have been linked with the Nigerian this morning for a fee of around £12m. Hebei China Fortune bid £10m for him in the summer before he had scored a Premier League goal.