Watford will pay £4.1m for Spanish international Mario Suarez plus significant add ons, according to a senior club official.
As we exclusively revealed at tea time today, Suarez has travelled to England this evening with his wife onboard a private jet laid on by the club. He will stay at a Hertfordshire hotel tonight and will undergo his two-part medical tomorrow under the watchful eye of head of medical Richard Collinge and one of the club doctors, Ian Hamilton or Ritan Mehta.
“It’s true, we have found a breakthrough, but there are still some details to sort out,” Watford sporting executive Nicola Salerno told Radio Bruno in Italy this evening. “Tomorrow he should be here and we can finalise everything along with the medical. We did it.
“Is the fee €5.5m [£4.1m] plus bonuses? Yes, that’s more or less accurate, but we have to wait because we haven’t made it all official yet.”
The signing of Suarez is arguably the biggest in the club’s history, in terms of the status of a player. The 28-year-old played in the same Spain midfield as Xavi, Iniesta and Koke two and a half years ago and cost Fiorentina £10.5m in the summer. It says much for the persuasive powers of owner Gino Pozzo, chief executive Scott Duxbury and head coach Quique Sanchez Flores that Watford initially fought off competition from Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion and then a late, late bid from Valencia who, we are told, threw the proverbial kitchen sink at the player, offering a significantly higher salary, signing on fee and loyalty bonus.
The signing represents a huge statement of intent by the club and will delight Sanchez Flores who worked with the player at Atletico Madrid and sees him as crucial in this new-look three man midfield he is fielding.
The completion of the deal, which judging by the contracts given to Nordin Amrabat and Costel Pantilimon, will be three-and-a-half years probably won’t go through in time for him to feature at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, but he should, all things being equal, be involved against Chelsea.