Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is lining up a move for Watford midfielder Will Hughes in the summer transfer window.
Having sealed the signing of Emi Buendia from Norwich this week, the Villa boss is keen on reinforcing his central midfield options ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
According to The Athletic, the Midlands club have been name-checked as one of those interested in signing Hughes this summer as he enters the final year of his contract, despite the midfielder’s recent insistence that he’s happy at Vicarage Road.
Speaking last month, Hughes said: “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 are no thoughts in my head about 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.”
With 77 appearances to his name in the Premier League, Hughes fits the bill that Smith has stated he wants from any potential new signings at Villa Park this summer.
The Villa boss recently said: “In terms of our recruitment, we talk about the sweet spots that we’re looking for, which is that the players have Premier League experience and are (ideally) British because there is no adaptation risk at all.”
In the £30,000-a-week earning Hughes, they would get exactly that.
Adrian Mariappa, his one-time teammate at Watford, waxed lyrical about the 26-year-old’s abilities back in 2018 as he said: “He’s an outstanding player. To see his quality he’s got, he has so much flair and a terrific player.”
Given that he has just one year left on his deal at Watford, Hughes could be someone who Villa snare on the cheap this summer.