Two top La Liga sides are set to battle it out for Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue in January, according to Spanish publication Plaza Deportiva.
The 32-year-old Frenchman has been at the Hornets since 2015, when he joined in a £6 million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.
He’s made 166 league appearances for the Hertfordshire outfit, and has been a regular in pretty much every season, but suffered his first relegation in English football last year.
After shaking off a back injury at the start of the season, Capoue has been a key figure in the Watford engine room as they look to get back to the Premier League at the first attempt, but they retain a big wage bill and Capoue will be one of the top earners.
Despite being in his 30’s now, Capoue still possesses talent and interest from both Valencia and Villarreal has emerged ahead of the January window.
As per AS, Plaza Deportivo claim that Unai Emery’s Villarreal are ahead of Valencia in the race for Capoue as they look to find a replacement for the injured Renato Iborra
But Capoue’s preferred destination could be Valencia as they are managed by Javi Gracia, who Capoue worked under at Vicarage Road for nearly two years between 2018 and 2019.
But their financial position means they’ve lost ground in the race, but it’s not a done deal to Villarreal by any stretch of the imagination.
If Watford want to return to the top flight at the first time of asking under new manager Xisco Munoz, they’d probably be better keeping Capoue around as the experienced head in midfield.
But on the other hand, he will be on a big wage and the middle of the park is a position where Watford are well stocked.
Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes, James Garner, Domingos Quina – the list is endless – so they may end up not missing Capoue at all if he does depart, and finances will probably dictate what happens with this deal.