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Watford join Spanish club in transfer chase for 31-cap international striker

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Championship newcomers Watford are trying to secure the signature of Barcelona striker Rey Manaj this summer, according to Italian reporter Gianluca Di Marzio.

The 25-year-old, who has amassed 31 caps for the Albanian national team, has been under contract to the Spanish giants since 2020, initially joining the club’s B team from Albacete.

Manaj has been named in Barcelona first-team squads without making an appearance yet though, and for the 2021-22 season he was loaned out to Serie A side Spezia, where he scored five goals in 26 outings.

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The Hornets are believed to be interested in bringing Manaj to Vicarage Road, but they face stiff competition from Spanish outfit Getafe, who appear to be the front-runners for his services.

According to Di Marzio, the La Liga side are ‘pushing’ to make sure they secure the services of Manaj, after Spezia opted not to trigger the option to make the striker’s deal a permanent one for €2.7 million.

The Verdict

Whilst Watford will need strikers this summer when Emmanuel Dennis no doubt departs, Manaj doesn’t exactly seem like the player Rob Edwards would be targeting.

With Watford’s custodians – the Pozzo’s – also owning Serie A side Udinese though, it is more likely that their influence over in Italy has alerted them to Manaj’s availability as they’ll already know how he performed last season.

At 25 years old and six feet tall, Manaj looks to be a pretty mobile forward with an eye for goal, as he’s shown with his seven goals for Albania and half-decent form in recent years at different clubs.

It appears right now though that Getafe are leading the race for his signature, but there’s no reason that Watford can’t try and influence him to make the jump to England instead.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Watford join Spanish club in transfer chase for 31-cap international striker

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