Fulham could be dealt a frustrating blow in their rumoured pursuit of Watford midfielder Will Hughes, according to a recent report from The Sun.
Fulham had previously been credited with interest in signing the £30k-a-week earning Hughes not so long ago, but it seems as though an agreement for the Watford man will be tough to reach this summer.
The Sun have reported that Watford are believed to be keen on a deal for Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden, and with Steve Bruce’s side rumoured to be keen on a deal to sign Hughes, a potential swap could be on the cards in the near future.
That’s likely to see Fulham miss out on the potential signing of the 26-year-old, who played his part in Watford’s promotion-winning campaign last term, under the management of Xisco Munoz.
Fulham will be looking to win promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking this season, after being relegated from the top-flight last term.
The Cottagers finished 18th in the Premier League standings in last year’s campaign, and will know that it’s going to be a hugely competitive Championship season coming up.
Hughes has shown that he can perform to a high standard in the second tier as well, with the midfielder having made 31 appearances in total for Xisco Munoz’s side last term, as they clinched promotion into the Premier League after a brief spell in the Championship.
Hughes had previously been on the books with Derby County, and made 189 appearances for the Rams, before making the move to Vicarage Road back in 2017.
He has gone from strength to strength with the Hornets, and will be hoping he can be playing his football at the highest possible level moving forwards.
A move to Newcastle United over Fulham is likely to be the more tempting proposition for Hughes, especially if the deal works from a Magpies perspective with Hayden potentially heading the other way.
Former Watford defender Adrian Mariappa once labelled Hughes as an ‘outstanding player’, which is a claim that plenty of the Vicarage Road faithful are likely to agree with.
“He’s an outstanding player. To see the quality he’s got, he has so much flair and a terrific player.”
Hughes averaged just shy of two tackles per game in the 2020/21 season, and with an average pass success rate of 84.1% in all competitions last term, he’s shown that he can make a positive impact both on and off the ball.
Fulham’s Harrison Reed has previously been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage, with Leeds United one of the teams reportedly eyeing a move for him, but with a formal bid not materialising at this moment in time, Fulham might not even have to continue their pursuit of Hughes this summer. However, that decision could be put out of their hands if Newcastle are to press ahead with their interest in signing the 26-year-old.
It’s a frustrating update for the Craven Cottage faithful, as Hughes could have been somewhat of a coup for Marco Silva’s side this season, with the midfielder showing that he’s more than capable of playing at a higher level than the second tier of English football.
It’s exactly why fans will be absolutely gutted with this latest update.