Watford are not pursuing a deal for Gaston Ramirez but the Italian media are linking the Hornets with a move for Italy right-back Christian Maggio.
A combination of Ramirez, the Southampton striker, recently following Watford on Twitter, his close relationship with fellow countryman Miguel Britos and the fact Inter Milan weighed up a bid for him when Walter Mazzarri was in charge at the San Siro led to plenty putting two and two together. However, we have been told this evening Watford hold no interest in the 25-year-old forward who spent half of last season on loan in the Championship with Middlesbrough.
With Adalberto Peñaranda and Isaac Success on their way from Granada to bolster striking options that already includes Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo, Nordin Amrabat and Obbi Oulare, Watford have not prioritised that area of the field in their recruitment strategy. However, Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury, Luke Dowling and Filippo Giraldi all accept Watford need a right-back, although the nature of the role may change slightly in the 3-5-2 system Mazzarri favours. The new head coach is likely to have given his thoughts on that area of the field when he met the club’s key decision-makers on Monday at the training ground.
Maggio is a player Mazzarri has worked with twice before, at Sampdoria and Napoli and both Valon Behrami and Miguel Britos will know him well from their time in Naples. Capped 34 times by his country, Maggio isn’t short of options, according to his agent who was asked about his client being reunited with Mazzarri at Vicarage Road.
“I don’t know yet whether he will remain or leave,” Massimo Briaschi told Radio Kiss Kiss. “The last of our problems is finding a team interested in Maggio. Watford? I don’t know, I haven’t received any proposals yet. We’ve got time until September, but first we have to talk to Napoli.”
Turning 35 in February, Maggio’s age could rule him out of Watford’s plans, although it depends how hard Mazzarri pushes for players he wants. It was a clear part of the club’s strategy last summer to go against the traditional Pozzo model and sign a raft of experienced, well-travelled players capable of keeping the club in the Premier League. The club are set to return this summer to identifying targets of a much lower age profile who possess room for growth, both in terms of their development and their value. Deals have already been locked down for Jerome Sinclair, 19, Penaranda, 18, Abdoulaye Doucoure, 23, and Success, 20. Deals for former Manchester City attacker Albert Rusnak, 21, and Under-17 World Cup sensation Aly Malle, 17, are also known to be in the pipeline.
In tomorrow’s issue of WD Sport, we have a feature on the extreme temperatures Troy Deeney et al experience in a bid to get themselves in top condition for a game. The paper is priced at 60p and is widely available in newsagents, supermarkets and convenience stories in Watford and its surrounding areas. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for subscriptions.