Watford and Villarreal have agreed terms on the permanent transfer of Etienne Capoue, according to French-based journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi.
The 32-year-old was a target for Valencia and former Hornets boss Javi Gracia in the summer, and it was believed that they were still interested in taking the Frenchman away from the second tier of English football.
But Villarreal – now under the management of Unai Emery – were revealed to be in pole position to capture Capoue this week.
And despite reports indicating that Villarreal only wanted to do a loan deal for the former Tottenham midfielder, reputable journalist Bouhfasi has confirmed that a permanent transfer will take place between the La Liga side and the Hertfordshire outfit.
Capoue will arrive in Spain in the next few hours to pen a two-and-a-half year contract, and has seemingly played his last game for Watford, after starring for 85 minutes in a 1-0 Boxing Day victory over Norwich City.
The ex-Toulouse man has made 11 appearances for the Hornets this season after missing the start of the campaign due to a back injury, and is thought to be one of the top earners at the club, having been there since 2015.
And the fact a club like Villarreal have come in for him suggests that he still has the talent to succeed at the top level, and as they sit in 4th spot in La Liga he could find himself in the Champions League next season.
This is a good deal for both parties.
Villarreal get an experienced defensive midfielder who still has a few years left at the top of his game, and Watford get what you’d imagine to be a decent fee but more importantly a big wage off the books.
Capoue is a great player at Championship level, but they have enough depth in the engine room to cope with his departure, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes and young duo James Garner and Domingos Quina to steer them through the rest of the season, even if no replacement is sought.