Watford sacked Javi Gracia in September 2019 and almost a year later, he returned to management when Valencia appointed him as their manager in the summer.

The Spaniard wanted to raid the Hornets in the last transfer window as he was keen on signing Étienne Capoue. However, no deal took shape.

On December 15th, AS reported Gracia and his side are still ‘keeping an eye’ on the midfielder.

According to Plaza Deportiva, Los Ches want to reinforce their midfield by signing the former Tottenham Hotspur man, but they will face competition from Villarreal.

Vicente Iborra is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious injury this month. Despite having Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin, Villarreal still lack sufficient options, mainly because the former Arsenal midfielder has struggled with injuries in recent years.

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Therefore, Unai Emery’s side ‘want’ Capoue and have identified him as their main target for the upcoming window.

Valencia are going through an economic crisis and will need to raise funds to balance their books. Having sold Geoffrey Kondogbia to Atlético Madrid in November, it gives them some margin to bring in a new player on loan in the winter market.

The Yellow Submarine have ‘gained position’, meaning Valencia’s financial situation has allowed Villarreal to get ahead to acquire the services of the Watford player.

Capoue wanted to leave Vicarage Road in the summer, but he failed in his efforts. With a possible battle set between Emery’s side and Valencia for his signature, the Frenchman could look to leave the Championship side next month.

Plaza Deportiva’s claims have also been backed up by AS, who further add Emery sees Capoue’s signing with good eyes, to fill in the current void in the squad created by the long-term injury to Iborra.