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‘Transfer targets can see how serious the Watford project is’

Quique Sanchez Flores accepts Watford’s fine start to the season and their position in the top half of the Premier League table makes them a more attractive proposition for transfer targets in January.

The Watford head coach has spoken on several occasions about his experience at newly-promoted Getafe in 2004/05 when selling a move to the third club in Madrid became a far easier prospect when they had booked another season in the top flight.

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The Hornets have made such an impressive start to this season that it would take a huge downturn in form were Watford, who have 22 points after 15 games, to be relegated. Agents and players will therefore be encouraged by the club’s long-term prospects and not be able to raise the issue about being embroiled in a relegation scrap when it comes to contract negotiations.

“We have more chance as more players know how we are working,” said Sanchez Flores when asked by WD Sport. “They know the project and how serious the project is. It’s not easy but it helps increase the possibilities in the market.”

Watford, we are told, are not looking to do too much business next month, as the recruitment team did the bulk of the work in the summer, but they are in the market for a goalkeeper, at least one winger and a senior striker. Sanchez Flores, we gather, has more of a say on transfers than any of his predecessors who have worked under the current regime, which is an encouraging sign of the harmony that exists at the UCL training ground in London Colney. However, the final decisions rests with chief executive Scott Duxbury and Gino Pozzo.

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“We are working together for everything,” said Sanchez Flores. “We have the sporting director [Luke Dowling], the owner, the CEO to decide. Me and the staff always have meetings about players.”

Duxbury and Pozzo backed Sanchez Flores’ judgement as soon as he arrived, signing Jose Manuel Jurado from Spartak Moscow. They would also have got him Joaquin, the former Spain right-winger who Sanchez Flores worked with at Valencia, had he not opted to join Real Betis.

“It’s about qualities,” said Sanchez Flores who is not after signing projects like Steven Berghuis and Obbi Oulare in this window. He wants players ready to hit the ground running. “We talk about what qualities and positions we need. When we have the list, with characteristics, then this is the moment to choose. The final decision is the club’s but, at the moment, we make a list of, say, three players and they are the same qualities and characteristics, whether they are No 1, No 2, No 3 on the list. It depends on their situation [whether they come].”