Watford are in the hunt for a central midfielder, the head coach has confirmed, but the Hornets will only pursue deals for players who are in it for the long haul and aware they face a fight to break into the first XI.
Mario Suarez is a confirmed target this month but the deal makers at the club are in no hurry to push through any transfer or make a panic buy, particularly with the team so settled and the bench already stockpiled with players seeking an opportunity. The recruitment team face a tricky but welcome balancing act in finding players who are an upgrade on what they have but are realistic enough to know they are not going to walk straight into a team established in the top half of the table.
“We are very clear on the kind of players we want,” said Sanchez Flores. “The names are clear. We want players for the project – not on loan for three or four months. We need to transmit to the fans this is a very serious project and needs to involve players who will play next year. Players who come will stay for the future. This is perfect.
“We try to put sense into the decisions we take now in the winter market. We need players who can continue the project next season. The players can adapt in the next few months.”
Sanchez Flores said the club is an easy sell to targets, much easier than in the summer when they still managed to attract players of the calibre of Etienne Capoue, Valon Behrami, Jose Manuel Jurado and Miguel Britos.
“We have passion, we have ambition, we are close to London, the performance of team is going well so we have lots of circumstances that will make big players want to come here,” said Sanchez Flores.
The head coach sanctioned the purchase of Suarez from Mallorca in the summer of 2010 when he was head coach at Atletico Madrid. Sanchez Flores declined to formally express his interest in resigning the combative, smooth-passing midfielder – “I don’t want to destroy the negotiations,” he said – but the characteristics Sanchez Flores is looking for can be found in abundance in the 28-year-old who is contracted to Fiorentina.
“We need a midfield centre with quality, with good vision of the tactics, knowing the style we play, who is good tactically, who is good technically and is a player of a high level.”