Watford are one of a host of clubs looking at Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo ahead of the 2021/22 season, per AllNigeriaSoccer.
The Hornets have just secured promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and it looks like plans are already underway to strengthen their squad for the new campaign despite the current one not being over yet.
And Ugbo looks like he could be top of their shopping list in terms of striking options, with the 22-year-old having a prolific season out in Belgium.
Ugbo has been at Chelsea since he was a child but has never made a senior appearance for the Blues, having loan spells in the Football League at Barnsley, MK Dons and Scunthorpe without much success.
He did though score 13 goals for Roda JC in the second tier of Dutch football last season though and his development has continued on the continent in the current campaign, netting 16 times in 32 Jupiler Pro League matches for Cercle Brugge (transfermarkt).
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But Watford will face competition from clubs around the globe for Ugbo, with Genk, CSKA Moscow and interestingly AS Monaco also linked.
Cercle Brugge have a first refusal on Ugbo’s permanent transfer but they are owned by Rybolovlev family – owners of Monaco as well – so Ugbo could easily end up at the Ligue 1 side.
However if Watford’s interest is serious then they’d probably fancy their chances of bringing the striker into the fold due to the close proximity to his London roots, however it won’t be easy with the other outside interest.
Ugbo has clearly come a long way since his EFL loan spells in years gone by, and he’s found a knack for scoring goals in a quite competitive league.
Cercle Brugge may be struggling at the wrong end of the table but he’s personally having a great season and it’s no surprise to see him being linked with bigger clubs.
There’s definitely going to be no pathway for him at Chelsea though with their options – Ugbo has one year left on his deal at Stamford Bridge and Watford will be hoping to lure him to Vicarage Road but it all depends on whether the Belgian club can afford to bring him in permanently due to their first refusal option.