Watford’s head coach has confirmed Giedrius Arlauskis is set to leave Watford this month and that the recruitment team, led in this instance by sporting director Luke Dowling, are trying to find a new home for Lloyd Dyer.
We reported yesterday that the Lithuanian No.1 is in talks with RCD Espanyol about a temporary move to Spain after the arrival of Costel Pantilimon shoved him down the goalkeeping pecking order at Vicarage Road. With only 17 foreign spots available Watford cannot afford to carry three non home-grown keepers in the 25-man Premier League squad.
“We need to see how Arlauskis is playing in another team, probably he goes to Spain,” said Quique Sanchez Flores this morning. “I think he goes on loan but it depends a lot on the feeling of the player.”
Arlauskis was Watford’s second summer signing, arriving from Steaua Bucharest on a four-year contract before Sanchez Flores had agreed to become head coach. He used Arlauskis in the Capital One Cup tie against Preston North End and summoned him from the bench when Heurelho Gomes was carried off against Aston Villa and taken to hospital.
“It’s important for us to have competition in this position,” said the coach. “Heurelho is amazing and we have confidence in the performance of him but we need to know that if something happened to him, we have cover. I didn’t feel this feel before.”
The three-and-a-half year deal for Pantilimon was clinched by chief executive Scott Duxbury who, as we exclusively revealed, whipped him from under the noses of Monaco after holding talks with the giant Romanian on Sunday. Expect him to make his debut against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
“I knew the past of Pantilimon,” said Sanchez Flores. “He was at Manchester City and had a lot of success with other teams. He knows the league and we have very good cover.”
Connor Smith joined Alessandro Diamanti through the Watford FC exit door yesterday after having his contract terminated by mutual consent. There is still, we understand, a bit of work to do on Victor Ibarbo’s move to Atletico Nacional before the club can officially announce his departure on loan. Dyer could well be the next to join the mini exodus. His agent, Will Salthouse, is in talks with Duxbury and Dowling about how they can find the winger a new club and work out a settlement on the remaining 18 months of his contract.
“We want the best for the players,” said Sanchez Flores. “The players are completely happy when they are playing but it is not particularly a problem for us if they stay. The behaviour of these players is amazing. Players like Dyer deserve to play and hopefully they find a team where they can play.”
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.