8 players who are or should be on Watford’s transfer radar for this summer

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With a six-point lead over third-placed Swansea City and four games left of the Championship season, Watford hold all the cards when it comes to the final automatic promotion spot.

Norwich City have already been promoted and are on course to win the title but the Hornets won’t mind that too much, as long as they can hold their nerve and ensure they bounce back up to the top flight at the first time of asking.

It looks likely to be a busy summer at Vicarage Road if they can do that, not least because there’s a fair few players out of contract this summer.

Even with the financial issues caused by the current national and global situation, it would be a surprise if the Hornets don’t look to spend a fair bit in the transfer market this summer to give Xisco Munoz the tools he needs to succeed in the top flight.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted 8 players who are or should be on Watford’s transfer radar for this summer…

Starting with one of the latest names to be linked with joining the Hornets, Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow has emerged as a potential transfer target.

According to The Sunday Mirror (18/04/21, p62), Watford are lining up a £6 million bid for Darlow, who has impressed this season but finds himself playing second fiddle for the Magpies.

Ben Foster’s future seems uncertain, while Rob Elliot looks likely to leave at the end of his contract, leaving Daniel Bachmann as their only option.

He’s untested in the Premier League, so it makes sense to bring in a keeper that has proven his quality at that level this year.

While Darlow is being targetted because he has proven Premier League quality, Antoine Semenyo would be much more of a speculative signing.

The 21-year-old has had a breakthrough season with Bristol City this term – scoring five goals and adding five assists for a side that have struggled to find attacking fluidity.

According to the TEAmtalk, Watford are one of a number of sides monitoring Semenyo, who looks like a player with a bright future.

There’s been a lot of transfer talk concerning Ismaila Sarr ahead of the summer, while Troy Deeney is set to leave in the summer, so reinforcing the forward line would make a lot of sense.

It’s been more than 14 years since Watford academy product Ashley Young left the club but it seems a reunion could be on the cards this summer.

Recent reports have indicated that the 35-year-old sees a return to Vicarage Road as a dream move.

Young’s Premier League experience at Aston Villa and Manchester United could be vital if the Hornets are playing in the top flight next term, while he would also add versatility down the left flank.

It seems Inter Milan are keen to keep him, however, as they’ve reportedly offered him a new deal, while it’s understood there is interest from elsewhere.

Adding more attacking options is likely to be high on Munoz’s list of priorities this summer and landing Boavista winger Alberth Elis would help them do just that.

According to Portuguese media outlet O Jogo, the Hornets are set to battle Brighton, Bordeaux, Rennes, and Nice for the 25-year-old.

Elis has had an impressive debut season with Boavista, scoring five goals and adding six assists in his 24 Liga NOS appearances this term.

The Honduran winger has produced some eye-catching performances this term but with his deal set to expire in 2024, the Portuguese club are going to want a fair bit in terms of compensation.

Another name that has been linked to Watford ahead of the summer window is Sheffield United defender Kean Bryan.

The centre-back is set to leave the Blades as a free transfer at the end of the season and could represent an absolute bargain.

It was reported earlier this month that the Hornets are hoping to snap him up in the summer but face competition from Sheffield United, Fulham and Swansea City.

The 24-year-old has had his struggles since leaving Manchester City a few years ago but has fought his way into contention in the Premier League over the past few months.

Another player that Watford would likely be signing for his potential rather than the impact he would make straight away, Foot Mercato have recently revealed that Randal Kolo Muani will cost at least €5 million (£4.3m).

As previously suggested, the forward line is likely to be an area that the Hornets reinforce in the upcoming window, and the Nantes striker could be an interesting addition.

He’s still a bit raw but looks like a player that could develop into a really dangerous forward.

Muani offers many of the characteristics that Sarr does, meaning if everything goes to plan he could be his long-term replacement.

Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy could be available on a free transfer this summer, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.

It is understood that Murphy is keen to stay at St James’ Park but, according to Football Insider, Watford are of the sides interested should he leave.

The 26-year-old could help add some more pace and dynamism to the Hornets forward line, while he’s proven he’s versatile enough to feature as a wing-back if needed.

Murphy represents a cheaper option than many of the players on this list but certainly a useful one.

A little bit of a leftfield one and a signing that may not inspire too much confidence in Watford fans, Adam Reach is set to leave Sheffield Wednesday this summer.

Sources have informed Football League World that Hornets are one of the teams keeping tabs on his current situation and it seems they feel the 28-year-old could prove a smart addition to their squad.

Again, this represents a move that would certainly be on the cheaper side, which could mean they have more money to improve their squad in other areas.

It’s certainly a bit of a risk though, as he’s struggled to find consistency in the Championship this term and Watford are likely to be a Premier League side next season.