Connor Smith departs and talks ongoing with Lloyd Dyer

Connor Smith will instruct his agent Paolo Vernazza to find him another club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent, it was announced this evening. And we can reveal negotiations are underway to reach a financial agreement with Lloyd Dyer, who has been surplus to requirements at Vicarage Road for nearly a year.

Dyer has just under 18 months left on the contract he signed in 2014 and is seeking a permanent move away from Vicarage Road rather than accept one of several loan moves placed on the table. Dyer, by his own admission, is paid “good money” at Watford and he is perfectly entitled to ask for the remainder of the contract, he signed in good faith in the summer of 2014, to be paid up. He could, in one scenario, receive a percentage of the balance of the contract if it means he is free to negotiate a deal elsewhere as a free agent or Watford, like Tottenham Hotspur have done with Emmanuel Adebayor, could release Dyer from his contract and agree to pay his wages until a new club is found. Any new club would have to agree with the Hornets to pay a percentage of his wages before his registration is released.

St Albans City v Watford - Pre Season Friendly

A permanent move to the Midlands would suit Dyer whose family live in Sutton Coldfield. Birmingham have a vacancy on the wing after Demarai Gray left for Leicester City while we revealed in the summer that Wolverhampton Wanderers tried to take Dyer on loan this time last year. Dyer’s agent, Will Salthouse, is based in Rickmansworth and has a box next to Troy Deeney’s at Vicarage Road.

Vernazza, Smith’s agent, does not have one of the best seats in the house at Vicarage Road but he did make more than 100 appearances for the Hornets in a four-year period. He will now look to follow up the interest the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Stevenage, Gillingham, Millwall and Wycombe Wanderers have shown by attending Watford Under-21 games this season. Smith’s last appearance for the club came in the U21’s 3-2 friendly win over Reading on Tuesday.

Picture by Sean Hinks
Picture by Sean Hinks

Smith turns 23 next month and played his final senior game for the club in the Capital One Cup defeat to Preston North End in August. The Republic of Ireland youth international was actually named in the club’s 24-man Premier League squad but has not travelled as part of the squad to a league game this season.

“I think it’s the right time for me to spread my wings and see what’s out there,” Smith said in a farewell interview with the club website. We are told he was not obliged to play for the U21 side this season but asked to play as one of three outfield over-age players in a bid to get game time.

“Every young player wants to play games and that’s nothing against Watford. This club has moved on so much in a few years with the new owners, so the challenge has got bigger and bigger every season to be a part of the first-team squad,” Smith told the club website.”