Premier League • England

Ranieri has first new face through Watford door with three more imminent

Dan Burnham
Thilo Kehrer, Hassane Kamara TEAMtalk

Claudio Ranieri has his first new face through the Watford door with the club reportedly set to announce a further three signings.

Ranieri is being backed by the Hornets board in the January transfer window, despite their track record of pulling the trigger on underperforming managers. They’ve moved quickly to secure left-back Hassane Kamara from Nice.

The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal.

He was a regular starter in Ligue 1 last season. However, he has fallen out of favour for the second-placed side this campaign.

Kamara featured in the league’s 2019/20 Team of the Season after helping former side Reims qualify for the Europa League.

Although primarily a defender, he can also play further forward on the left side of midfield.

Now that Watford have got his deal done and dusted, their attention can turn to a further trio of targets.

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They have already secured a deal to sign Brazilian centre-back Samir, 27, from sister club Udinese. He was at the training ground on Monday.

Defensive midfielder Edo Kayembe is also close to joining from Belgian side KAS Eupen.

Hasanne Kamara in action for Nice vs AC Milan, 2021

And the Hornets are working on a move for Besiktas’ Domagoj Vida.

The Watford Observer report that all three signings are expected to be completed in the coming days.

The club have moved swiftly in the transfer market to give Ranieri the best chance of avoiding relegation, as they currently sit perilously above the Premier League drop zone.

Watford had Kamara alternative

Meanwhile, Watford have also reportedly had a low-ball £2million offer for Rangers defender Borna Barisic turned down.

The report in Daily Record claims that Ranieri’s men made an official offer for the left-back, which was before Kamara was secured.

That is well short of the £5m valuation Rangers have placed on one of their top players. The report also adds that the Hornets failed when they offered an extra £1.5m in bonuses.

The sale of Nathan Patterson to Everton for a fee of up to £16m has eased any financial pressure on the Glasgow club to sell. Indeed, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has already been told he can reinvest some of that fee to bolster his squad.

With that being the case, the Record adds that Watford’s chase for Barisic is now over.

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