Watford issue statement amid Walter Mazzarri talk

Watford have taken the unusual step of issuing a statement on the eve of a game this evening, confirming they plan to review the position of Quique Sanchez Flores after the final game of the season amid reports Walter Mazzarri is being lined up to succeed the Spaniard.

Speculation linking Mazzarri, 54, has reached fever pitch this week and some media outlets in Italy believe a two-year deal has already been agreed. Mazzarri will be well known to countrymen Gino Pozzo, chief scout Filippo Giraldi and sporting consultant Nicola Salerno.

However, perhaps mindful of the terms of employment of Sanchez Flores’ contract and wanting to avoid the risk of any suggestion of constructive dismissal, Watford issued the following statement less than half an hour before their Premier League game with Norwich City.

Quique Sanchez Flores at Carrow Road this evening
Quique Sanchez Flores at Carrow Road this evening

“The position on the head coach remains the same,” read the statement. “We are extremely pleased with the work of Quique and his staff and all the players this season. All the objectives set have been achieved. However, we still have two very important games to play and we have a meeting arranged immediately at the end of the season to discuss continuing the project together.”

It is one of the worst kept secrets in the Premier League that Sanchez Flores will no longer be in charge next season, and he has very much conveyed the impression of a man who knows his fate. Indeed, there has been a written media blackout after the last two Premier League matches on talking to players after the game, as the club do not want the players being asking any awkward questions about the future of the head coach.

In tomorrow’s print version of WD Sport, we have a three-page interview with Nic Cruwys who talks emotionally and in great detail about the attack that left him fighting for his life. Pick up your copy from all the usual places you’d expect to buy a newspaper – or email jane@wdsport.co.uk for subscriptions.