Watford have no plans to sell Costel Pantilimon, we have been told by a club source.
Pantilimon has been linked with a shock move to Aston Villa who are looking for a No 1 after Brad Guzan’s switch to Middlesbrough.
However, Watford worked hard in January to convince Pantilimon to join them instead of Monaco and are not contemplating letting their No 2 go two weeks away from the start of the season. The January signings of Nordin Amrabat and Mario Suarez are yet to work out but the club were thrilled to sign a player of Pantilimon’s experience on a free from Sunderland during the winter window.
Heurelho Gomes is the undisputed No 1 at Vicarage Road and Pantilimon knows he is playing second fiddle to the Brazilian, but the Romanian was brought in as the club are not confident enough in Giedrius Arlauskis should anything, as it did twice last season at Aston Villa and Southampton, happen to Gomes who turns 36 in February.
Pantilimon, 29, played second fiddle to Joe Hart at Manchester City but moved to Sunderland as the No 1. However Sam Allardyce dropped him after being concerned with his error count, opening the door for him to move to Watford and push Gomes for his spot.
“He [Gomes] is a good keeper,” said Pantilimon when he arrived at Vicarage Road. “I know him from when we played against Watford [before]. He’s a nice guy and I will fight for my position. I just want to say I respect everyone and I try to help the team.”
Pantilimon was involved in one of the most bizarre moments in the club’s recent history on FA Cup quarter-final day when he only found out he was playing five minutes before kick-off due to a mix-up when naming the team. Click HERE to be reminded of the bizarre sequence of events.