According to The Athletic, Aston Villa are interested in signing Will Hughes from Watford this summer.
The 26-year-old will become a free agent next summer as things stand.
If Watford can’t agree a new deal with Hughes, then they can either choose to receive some cash for him this summer, or lose him for nothing in 2022.
This news was covered by us yesterday, so let’s see what one of English football’s leading figures have said about the former Derby midfielder.
Gareth Southgate thinks Will Hughes is fantastic
One man who thinks Hughes is a fine footballer is Gareth Southgate.
Speaking back in 2014, the England boss heaped praise on the £30,000-a-week maestro after he scored the winning goal against Croatia Under-21.
As quoted by the FA, Southgate said: “He was fantastic. I think he was the youngest player in our team and has played with great maturity in both matches, under scrutiny and the spotlight.
“His touch and his awareness was first-class. It’s difficult to single people out because there were so many good performances, but I thought he was outstanding.”
Sadly, Hughes never did enough to make the step up to the England squad.
He amassed a huge amount of Under-21 appearances, playing 23 games at that level partly under Southgate.
In our view, if he completes a switch to Villa Park and does well, he will go straight into Southgate’s thoughts.
After all, the likes of Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings have all been handed game time by Southgate, so he clearly keeps a close eye on Dean Smith’s squad.
It will presumably be difficult to take Watford’s No.19 away from Vicarage Road, just after they secured promotion back to the Premier League.
However, if the Villans can pull it off, it would be a great signing.
In other news, Report: Tottenham could still appoint 51-year-old manager instead of Fonseca