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Watford target Mario Suarez ‘understands perfectly the midfield role’

Quique Sanchez Flores has extolled the qualities of Mario Suarez in the week Watford revived their interest in signing the Spain international.

Suarez is thought to be the Hornets’ No.1 midfield target and they have reopened negotiations with Fiorentina and his representatives over a permanent move to Vicarage Road this month. We revealed last week talks had stalled over demands for a five-year-deal and the recruitment team started to move down their shortlist of midfield targets. Yet Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury have returned to the negotiating table with Manuel Garcia Quilon, the player’s representative, and the 28-year-old could yet become a Watford player before the end of the month.

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Quique Sanchez Flores recommended Atletico Madrid signed Suarez in 2011, after they won the Europa League, and he remains an admirer of the midfielder who, judging by a record of 57 yellows in five seasons, is capable of putting his foot in as well as picking a pass.

“I love good players,” said Sanchez Flores this morning. “He has the kind of qualities we are looking for. He is a good footballer and understands perfectly the position of midfield. He’s positive and is energetic. I know him.”

Interestingly, Suarez started his first game for Fiorentina in nearly two months on Sunday, playing 66 minutes and picking up a caution in the 2-0 defeat to AC Milan. The decision to play him could be a joint result of the injury to Milan Badelj and Fiorentina attempting to raise the asking price by showing, on the face of it, he is still in their plans.

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According to Fiorentina director Daniele Prade, Suarez harbours ambitions of making Spain’s Euro 2016 squad, despite the fact he hasn’t played for Spain since the World Cup qualifier against Finland in September 2013.

“Mario Suarez wants more space so he can go to Euro 2016,” said Prade recently.

Sanchez Flores confirmed the arrival of Nordin Amrabat concludes their immediate search for a striker, even though fans of Malaga are more accustomed to seeing him on the wing, so that leaves a winger to find. Andros Townsend is known to be the No.1 choice and the club would be happy to potentially double the most they have ever paid for a player to land him, but he is not the only egg they have in their basket. Jefferson Montero, the Swansea trickster, is an option as is Matty Phillips, the QPR winger who has the added appeal of being home-grown.

“We are fighting for a couple of positions more,” said Sanchez Flores. “If the player we want is not able to come here, then we go with the squad we have.”