The Sun’s Alan Nixon is reporting that Newcastle are ‘asking about’ Watford midfielder Will Hughes. Nixon claims the 26-year-old fits into Steve Bruce’s budget. However, he reported last month that Bruce would be handed a £50m war chest which is looking increasingly unlikely.
Newcastle United. Asking about Will Hughes at Watford. Midfield. All round ability. Would come within Bruce budget …
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) July 7, 2021
This is not the first time Newcastle have been linked to Hughes. Newcastle were tracking Hughes when he was a promising teenager with Derby over seven years ago. However, Newcastle never pulled the trigger on the former England U21 international and he moved to Watford in 2017.
He’s made 118 appearances for Watford with 8 goals and 10 assists, including 31 last season in the Championship. Watford were comfortably promoted the first time of asking this past season so he’ll be back in the Premier League this season.
Hughes is entering the final year of his contract which could be why Newcastle see him as a viable option. Watford are trying to tie him down on a new long-term deal but have come up short in negotiations so far.
However, in May, Hughes proclaimed his desire to remain at Vicarage Road despite his contract situation. This is what the midfielder said as published in The Watford Observer:
“I’m really happy here, I’m settled, back in the Premier League. There’s nothing better and that’s how I want it to remain. It’s as simple as that.
“There’s no thoughts in my head about not me moving elsewhere.
“That’s in my agent’s and the club’s hands. That’s not something I’m really concerned about and it’s not something that I’ve really thought about. I’ll give my all for Watford until my contract is up.”
Hughes would be a decent signing if Bruce could get him in at a cut-rate price. However, it would beg the question of what that means for both Sean and Matty Longstaff, who are both entering the final year of their contracts.