20 July 2024

Xisco Munoz Watford Sacking Could Be Imminent - Last Word on Football

The summer transfer window closes at 11pm tomorrow (Friday) and currently the anticipation is that any business will be minimal.

That’s not to say nothing will happen, but any Watford fans expecting or hoping for a clutch of signings before the deadline passes will most likely be disappointed.

It seems that one or two new players, at the most, is at the top end of what can reasonably be expected to happen before 11pm tomorrow night – but it’s also very possible that there will be no new incomings at all.

We will live blogging right up until 11pm – you can follow the blog here.

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The signing last week of Danish striker Mileta Rajovic gave head coach Valerien Ismael the additional No.9 option he had been looking for.

Mileta Rajovic: Watford sign striker from Swedish club Kalmar on five-year deal - BBC Sport

Ismael has very much been an advocate and even the instigator of the Hornets operating with a vastly smaller squad than in previous seasons.

The head coach oversaw the swathe of departures during the summer, and with his aim to have ideally two players competing for each position, a squad larger than 25 was always unlikely.

He has also been very consistent in his message that any new signings had to constitute ‘the right player’ rather than just any player.

Looking at what he has now, the most obvious case could be made for an additional central defender, possibly left-footed, in order to provide cover and competition for Wes Hoedt.

That may be where any potential business is focussed, but the Watford Observer understands that it will be Ismael’s choice if he brings in any players or goes with what he’s got.

Many fans will be concerned that Ismael has missed out on targets he wanted, but it has to be remembered that rumours are not always founded in fact.

The likes of Barnsley’s Callum Styles was linked with a move to Vicarage Road as soon as Ismael was appointed, but the obvious angle there is the pair worked together at Barnsley. There has never been anything concrete to suggest that was even considered, but such is the persistence of the rumour that it often becomes overlooked that it may, in fact, be wrong and therefore a ‘target’ has not been missed.

Watford cancel Qatar friendly after fans voice concerns over human rights - ESPN

It’s the same looking back at some of the strikers the club has been linked with through the summer months: Sory Kaba, Shamar Nicholson, Alfredo Morelos, Cho Gue-Sung and even a return to the club for Emmanuel Dennis.

There’s every chance some or all of those names appeared on a list somewhere at London Colney, and that the club enquired about availability/interest/price etc.

However, it’s quite a quantum leap to go from there to the Hornets have missed out because a story appeared linking the club with the player.

As Technical Director Ben Manga explained in his Watford Observer interview last season, agents have a job to do in order to get their clients a move and they’ll not think twice about twisting the truth for a media story.

“You get calls from agents – we get many calls from agents trying to push their client in our direction,” he said in April.

“If we don’t give them an answer and instead say ‘ok, we’ll have a think about this’ they will then probably speak to journalists and try to say they have spoken with Watford.”

One striker linked with a return to Vicarage Road was Keinan Davis, who was on loan last season. He returned to Aston Villa at the end of the season and is set to sign permanently for Udinese.

Having been the subject of rumours of a return to Watford permanently, Davis has now been linked – understandably given the connection – with another loan but this time from Udinese.

However, The Watford Observer understands this is extremely unlikely to happen.

• Follow our live blog tomorrow for the latest news on any deadline day moves. It’s totally free to access (no subscription required) and will run from around 8am until after the window shuts.

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