Watford veteran still key to promotion push on verge of Spanish move

Date published: Monday 28th December 2020 1:06 - Neil Foster

Reports in the French media claim Villarreal have reached an agreement to sign Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue in January.

French media outlet RMC Sport state it will be a two-and-a-half year contract for the former Tottenham man.

Capoue, 32, has been with the Hornets since the summer of 2015 and made 181 appearances in all competitions. More of a holding midfielder, he has contributed 14 goals and been a regular starter for the club.

Capoue began his career with Ligue 1 club Toulouse and spent six seasons at Stadium de Toulouse. He left to join Spurs in August 2013 but failed to make his mark with the north Londoners.

The man with seven France caps played just 24 times in the Premier League across two campaigns. He moved to Vicarage Road and played five seasons in the top flight before the club was relegated last term.

Watford still value the experienced schemer and have handed him seven starts among 11 Championship appearances in 2020-2021. But it seems as though his days in Hertfordshire may be numbered after reports surfaced of a possible move.

Marca reported on Sunday that the Yellow Submarine, coached by ex-Arsenal boss Unai Emery, were hoping to sign the veteran. It was not known if Watford would cooperate as he is still very much part of their plans for the season.

He played in Boxing Day’s 1-0 victory over table-topping Norwich City which sees Watford fifth in the standings. But it appears as though that might have been his final game for the club.

Villarreal need midfield reinforcements after an injury to Vicente Iborra saw him ruled out for the rest of the season.

Iborra, who made 27 appearances for Leicester between July 2017 and January 2019, ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament. He is the same age as Capoue and so it would be a like-for-like replacement.

New man starts with a win

Xisco Munoz was announced as Watford’s new manager on December 20 after the sacking of Vladimir Ivic. It was a surprise appointment given his lack of experience in Europe’s biggest leagues.

The 40-year-old has worked as an assistant at lower league Spanish clubs. He was in charge of Georgian top-flight side Dinamo Tbilisi in 2020 and guided them to the Erovnuli Liga title.

Munoz is Watford’s fifth manager in just over 12 months. Since the Pozzo family took control of the club in June 2012, there have been 13 changes of manager.


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