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‘We want good players’ says Quique as Watford raise transfer bar

Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed Watford will have one on eye on next season when conducting their transfer business next month.

We reported last week that Watford have shelved their interest in signing Emmanuel Adebayor and redrawn their shortlist as they no longer require short-term, quick fix solutions to preserve their Premier League status.

“In this period, we have the opportunity to support the team with new players,” said the head coach. “I would like players to come for next year. We will sign players who are involved in the future of Watford. If we can sign players who can improve, fine. If not, we prefer to keep the squad. The club is working very hard, the names and objectives are very clear.”

Sanchez Flores confirmed he is an admirer of Idriss Kameni, the Malaga goalkeeper who Watford are confident of completing a deal for. “I like Kameni but I love Heurelho.”

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Andros Townsend is another confirmed target. Southampton and West Bromwich Albion are also interested in the 24-year-old England international who is out of favour at Tottenham Hotspur. West Brom are being talked about as frontrunners to sign the winger, using Spurs’ long-standing interest in Saido Berahino as leverage for a potential swap deal. However, Watford are confident the lure of remaining in the south east, the possibility of linking up with Gomes and Etienne Capoue plus the prospect of playing more progressive football in the top half of the table would make them an attractive option. We also understand the £14m price tag would not be a deal breaker. With the promise of £100m next season to add to the £80 from this one, the club are willing to smash their transfer record for a player of the right pedigree and the right age profile. Signing an England international for what would be double their transfer record would represent a real statement and draw a significant line in the stand.

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“We want good players,” confirmed Sanchez Flores. “They are usually playing in good teams so it is not easy to take these players. We need the kind of names that Watford fans can be happy to have in our team.”

A striker, in his mid to early twenties, is high on the shopping list next month.

“If a striker is coming it is not to put pressure on these players [Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo],” said Sanchez Flores. “They don’t need pressure, they are playing very well. If someone is coming it is because we need cover in case of injuries. To take these players out of the team [and give them a rest] is difficult because they are running until the last minute. One is scoring always, the other is scoring enough. They are important in terms of defensive set pieces, too.”