Watford are ready to fight tooth and nail to keep the majority of their star players at the club after suffering relegation from the Premier League, reports say.
Watford fear the prospect of playing the Championship next season might deter many of their key players from staying at Vicarage Road beyond the summer.
However, the Hornets are willing to put utmost efforts to hang on their first-team stars, with a host of the Premier League sides looking to tear them apart in the upcoming transfer window, report Daily Mirror.
Abdoulaye Doucoure could spearhead the summer exodus, as Everton plot a new bid for the 27-year-old Frenchman after seeing two of their previous offers turned down.
Arsenal also harbor a long-standing interest in the tenacious box-to-box midfielder but will restrain from launching an offer before closing out the deal for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey.
Watford will also face an uphill task of preventing their most prized asset, Ismaila Sarr, from leaving, with Wolverhampton and Liverpool going head-to-head for the Senegalese’s services.
Afraid of losing the star-winger Adama Traore, Wolves have been scouring the market for a potential replacement, and the name of Sarr has popped up as a possible solution.
The 22-year-old forward was one of the rare bright spots in Watford’s underwhelming 2019/20 campaign, producing high-octane, energetic performances week in, week out.
Although Nuno Espirito Santo’s side lead the way at the moment, Liverpool’s interest in Sarr could throw a spanner in the works.
Indeed, the Reds rely upon Sadio Mane to give them an upper hand over the ‘Wanderers’ in the race to steal the Senegal international from Watford’s clutches.
Meanwhile, Gerard Deulofeu is said to be angling for a return to AC Milan, where he spent a prolific six-month loan spell back in 2017.