Claudio Ranieri has asked Watford to look into the prospect of landing Daniel Amartey in the January transfer window, TEAMtalk understands.
Ranieri remains confident that he can guide the Hornets to safety but is hoping for reinforcements in the New Year. One of the targets he has asked the club’s hierarchy to pursue is Amartey, a player he signed during his time with Leicester City. Amartey is out of contract at the end of the season.
And we understand that talks have commenced over a new deal at the King Power. The 26-year-old midfielder has proved particularly useful this season to Brendan Rodgers, playing as an emergency central defender.
Amartey has mainly been a squad player in recent years. Regular first-team football could appeal to the Ghana international – especially in his preferred midfield position and Watford could potentially offer him that.
It’s understood Amartey could also have the chance to move to Europe, with clubs from Italy, Germany and Spain showing an interest.
One potential issue for any club interested is that Amartey is due to take part in the African Cup of Nations in the New Year. Therefore he would not be available for any club until February.
Amartey not the only Watford target
Watford face a battle with Crystal Palace and Brentford if they want to land Rangers ace Joe Aribo, reports claim. The central midfielder is one of the top stars in the Scottish Premiership, having made 25 appearances during Rangers’ Invincibles campaign.
Aribo’s influence is only growing and he is already on four goals from 14 matches this term. That includes strikes in consecutive wins against Ross County and Livingston.
The Nigeria international, who has won 12 caps so far, seems destined to complete a big move to the Premier League.
Aribo’s versatility makes him an attractive proposition – he can play anywhere in midfield, as well as on the right wing. The star has even filled in at left-back on occasion.
Palace became the first English side to declare their interest on October 19. But according to The Daily Mail, they are not alone in the transfer hunt. The Bees and Hornets are now keeping tabs on Aribo. That could set up an exciting pursuit amid the player’s contract wrangle.
He is now in the final 18 months of his deal at Ibrox. Should Rangers fail to sort out fresh terms, they’ll have to sell next summer to recoup a decent fee.
It means the race is on to tie down Aribo’s long-term future and keep him from the clutches of the Premier League trio.