Watford have not tried to break their transfer record by signing Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid while talks are ongoing regarding bringing Mario Suarez, another player with Atletico connections, to Vicarage Road.
Reports in Spain claim the Hornets had sought to eclipse the £6m they paid for Etienne Capoue by bidding around £7m for Partey, the 22-year old Ghanaian midfielder.
We are told that Partey is not on the club’s radar but Keite Balde Diao and Andros Townsend very much are.
Other news originating from Italy that Suarez is on the shortlist are accurate. The 28-year old smooth passing midfielder was recommended by Quique Sanchez Flores who signed and worked with the Spanish international for a season at Atletico.
The club’s interest has been registered and talks have been held with the player’s representative, Manuel Garcia Quilon, but a club source told us this morning they are “no nearer [to completing a deal] on that one”.
The move for Suarez raises questions about the makeup of Watford’s midfield, an area where they already appear well stocked. Etienne Capoue warrants a recall to the France side and is similar to Ruben Baraja and Tiago, according to Sanchez Flores, while Ben Watson has barely put a foot wrong since replacing the suspended Valon Behrami and is one of the head coach’s onfield lieutenants.
Behrami lost his place due to indiscipline and then injury, yet Suarez has a worse disciplinary record than the Switzerland international, collecting 57 yellow and three red cards in just five seasons.
Behrami is the next midfielder cab off the rank while Adlene Guedioura is itching for more Premier League action.
One of the reservations the club had about signing Juan Manuel Iturbe was that they could not guarantee him a starting berth and did not want him leapfrogging players who had patiently waited for their chance and diligently worked on the areas in their game Sanchez Flores identified for improvement.