Watford have signalled their growing ambition by formally submitting a bid for Saido Berahino.
The Hornets have made the 22-year-old their primary forward target and have lodged a bid which, we are told, would smash the fee they paid Malaga for Nordin Amrabat but is some way short of West Brom’s valuation of £20m. Berahino is not being lined up to replace Leicester City target Troy Deeney who is not for sale, our sources have told us.
Berahino, who almost moved to Tottenham Hotspur last summer, has one year left on his contract and used to be represented by Aidy Ward, the agent who brokered Jerome Sinclair’s move to Vicarage Road. Spurs are thought to have since turned their attention to Vincent Janssen, the AZ Alkmaar forward who Steven Berghuis has teed up in recent Holland internationals.
The Hornets are thought to be one of several teams keen on signing Berahino and their bid will be considered by West Brom owner Jeremy Peace and technical director Nicky Hammond, who will be mindful they could lose the player on a free next summer, although they would be due sizeable compensation.
“I told him clearly I’d love him to be at the football club next season,” said Hammond earlier this week. “He’s a very talented individual, he’s a good age, he’s a home-grown academy player. He’s the type of player I’d love to be here next year.”
Watford got their fingers burnt when they last broke their club record to sign a player from West Bromwich Albion but Berahino is a completely different kettle of fish to Nathan Ellington. He is 22, was called up to the England squad earlier this season and is considered one of the brightest prospect in the country. However, he had two forgettable games against the Hornets this season. He missed a gilt-edged header at Vicarage Road and saw two penalties saved by Heurelho Gomes at the Hawthorns.
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