Championship outfit Fulham are interested in a move for Watford midfielder Will Hughes, according to Daily Mirror journalist Darren Witcoop.
With new boss Marco Silva in place after the departure of former manager Scott Parker to Bournemouth, the Cottagers are likely to be on the prowl for their first signings of the window, especially now the second-tier side’s players are back in pre-season training.
As per Witcoop, this signing could be a like-for-like replacement for Tom Cairney who has been linked with a move to Sheffield United – and Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic is said to be interested in a reunion after the duo spent just under three years together at Craven Cottage between 2015 and 2018.
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But with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Jean Michael Seri both potentially leaving the club this summer now the club are back in the Championship, this signing could be needed regardless of whether Cairney stays or goes.
Harrison Reed, who admittedly is a more defensive player than Hughes, was also linked with a move away from West London when Leeds United’s apparent interest was reported, but this rumour was quashed by the Yorkshire Evening Post who believe the 26-year-old is not on Marcelo Bielsa’s list of targets this summer.
However, Will Hughes might be reluctant to leave Vicarage Road after making 31 appearances last season in their promotion-winning campaign.
He could therefore be tempted to stick with the Hornets even if he’s relegated to the bench, just to get another taste of Premier League football.
With Hughes making appearing 62 times in his last two seasons in the top flight though, he may get his chance to shine again which could rule out any Fulham move for him.
But despite the central midfielder publicly stating his wish to remain in Hertfordshire, an agreement to extend his contract is yet to be struck between the club and the 26-year-old.
And the advantage of having longer-term financial security could lure Hughes back to the Championship with Fulham if a new deal isn’t agreed before the end of the window.
His contract situation could also mean any attractive bid that comes in for him could potentially be accepted and reinvested back in the Watford squad as Xisco Munoz prepares his side for their first season back in the top tier.
So this move for the central midfielder is still a possibility in the next couple of months because of this, but certainly not a probability.