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What could July look like for Watford? New signings, departures and contracts discussed

With just over a month to go until Rob Edwards’ reign begins as the new manager of Watford, July could prove to be a busy month at Vicarage Road.

While June was relatively quiet for Watford, it was a month where Edwards was able to get his feet under the desk at the training ground and begin planning for the long season ahead.

The squad returned on June 20th to begin pre-season drills, with the new boss stating that the days of returning from the off-season to weeks of fitness training are now in the past.

Perhaps a problem for Edwards though is that it is unclear what his squad will look like when Watford host Sheffield United on the opening day of the Championship season. With a number of potential outgoings as well as a lack of incomings, it will be difficult for any fan to create their ideal Watford starting 11 for the coming season, so one can imagine that July will see the transfer merry-go-round in full swing in Hertfordshire. 

Here we look at what July could have in store for the Hornets…

Will Watford sign any new players in July?

Watford currently have no strikers who are likely to remain at the club for the new season. It is thus a priority for Rob Edwards to bring in at least two strikers to play in his preferred 3-5-2 formation, as well as potential back-up players. 

Ex-Celtic striker Vakoun Bayo is expected to make a move to Watford soon, kicking Edwards’ transfer business into action.

There have also been links with Swansea striker Joel Piroe and Reading striker Lucas Joao, with both players proven Championship goalscorers.

Aside from this, talks of other signings have been few and far between, but it will be hoped serious inroads can be made on the recruitment front sooner rather than later.

Will any players be leaving?

There are a number of players who could join the likes of Cucho Hernandez and Ben Foster out of the exit door at Vicarage Road.

Emmanuel Dennis is sure to be the subject of further speculation, with Everton and West Ham conveying the most interest in the Nigerian striker. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ismaila Sarr move on either, with West Ham also said to be keen on him. Sarr managed just five goals and two assists in an underwhelming and injury-hit season for Watford’s record signing. 

Captain Moussa Sissoko is expected to make a return back to France, with Nantes reportedly negotiating a $2m deal to secure the Frenchman’s signature. 

Hassane Kamara, Kiko Femenia and Daniel Bachmann have also been linked with exits this summer, though Manchester United’s pursuit of the latter has ended.

Of the three, Kamara in particular would be a big loss for the Hornets, with the left-back winning the club’s player of the season award despite only joining in the January transfer window.

Who will sign a new deal?

While contract details are rarely disclosed by Watford, there are various players who could sign new deals in the near future. 

Craig Cathcart is now entering the final 12 months of his contract at Vicarage Road after signing a four-year deal back in 2019. With the defender reaching the twilight stage of his career, Edwards will have a decision to make on his future at some point this in the new season. 

It could be beneficial to offer those attracting attention from elsewhere fresh deals to secure their futures too, but the club will know all too well that some key players may well head for the exit this summer.

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