Stevenage v Watford - Pre Season Friendly

‘We need three players’ says Watford boss Walter Mazzarri

Walter Mazzarri has confirmed the club are working on deals to sign three players before the end of the month and that recruiting a playmaker is a top priority.

Watford have made five signings this summer, two of which (Juan Camilo Zuniga and Brice Dja Djedje) were recommended by the Italian. Mazzarri hopes three more new faces arrive before the summer transfer window closes on Wednesday, August 31. He would not be drawn on positions, let alone names, but we understand a central defender, a midfielder to play in the engine room and a No 10 are the targets.

Mazzarri with chief scout Filippo Giraldi
Mazzarri with chief scout Filippo Giraldi

“I spoke with the club,” said Mazzarri. “Being a new manager, an experienced manager, they allowed me to first evaluate the players already at the club. This is what I have been doing. This is what I will do in the next days. The club has given me the possibility to sign two or three players. They say this is no problem, if you need them. I think we need them.”

We asked Mazzarri about Roberto Pereyra and Sofian Boufal. “I do not comment on names that are not Watford players,” he said.

Roberto Pereyra in action on Sunday
Roberto Pereyra in action on Sunday

We understand the interest has cooled in Pereyra after stories emerged from Italy he wanted to stay at Juventus and fight for his place. The Argentine started their game with West Ham United at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday. A deal for Boufal is still in the pipeline.

“In the Premier League there is a lot of quality so it’s very, very important to have quality in that specific position [No 10] because that is a key area of the game,” said Mazzarri.

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We have been told the third name on the shortlist for a playmaker was recommended by Mazzarri. Manolo Gabbiadini, the 24-year-old Napoli forward, has been linked.

“We talk with each other and I suggest some players but at the end of the day it’s the president’s decision [who we sign],” said Mazzarri.