Last summer, Watford gave Étienne Capoue permission to sort out his future, but he failed to get a move away from Vicarage Road.

Valencia were interested in the midfielder and their manager, Javi Gracia, was keen on reuniting with his former player at the Mestalla.

Despite the failure to sign the 32-year-old, AS reported on December 15th that Los Ches are still keeping an eye on the Frenchman.

On Boxing Day, we carried a report from Plaza Deportiva, who explained Villarreal are trying to get ahead of Valencia for a January move.

The Yellow Submarine will be without the services of Vicente Iborra for the remainder of the season after a serious injury setback this month.

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Unai Emery’s side had identified the need to strengthen midfield after Iborra’s injury blow and had picked Capoue as a target for the winter market.

The former Arsenal manager has now confirmed Villarreal’s interest in the Watford player.

“I’m talking with [Villarreal president Fernando] Roig and from the beginning we have a lot of communication and we are clear about what we want. We have discussed the issue of the midfielder and we have agreed that we need it,” Emery was quoted as saying by AS.

“Looking at what was on the market, we see that Capoue was the best option. The team has worked on it and if he arrives shortly, he will be received as a very good reinforcement. We know him from Toulouse and Watford, we know what he can bring us.”

Capoue has made 11 appearances in the Championship for Watford this season.