Report: Watford interested in summer move for Aston Villa’s Joe Bennett

Watford are reportedly keen on signing Aston Villa's Joe Bennett, currently on loan at Brighton.

According to the Argus, Brighton are fighting it out with the Hornets for Aston Villa left-back Joe Bennett, who has been on loan with the Seagulls this term.

A 25-year-old former English youth international, Bennett has played for Villa since his 2012 transfer from Middlesbrough. He has 27 appearances for Villa, but has spent all of this campaign on loan with Brighton, with whom he has made 42 appearances.

The left-back has one year left on his contract at Villa Park, and is expected to hold talks with Tim Sherwood in the coming weeks to determine his future. If suggested that he will earn a first-team place for the Birmingham-based side, it would come as no surprise to see Bennett agree a new contract, although he may be tempted to look for first-team opportunities away from the club if there is no guarantee of consistent football.

Watford have just won promotion to the top flight, and are keen to strengthen with Premier League experience and home grown players, having few on their books to fulfil the required quota.

Bennett is still young, has turned out in the Premier League, and was one of the only standouts for Brighton this season, as they floundered near the Championship relegation places.

With only one year left on his deal, the Hornets may be able to steal in and secure Bennett, with the left-back position one that requires strengthening this summer - especially if head coach Slavisa Jokanovic intends to remain with his four-at-the-back system.

However, Brighton are also keen on signing Bennett if his future at Villa Park is under threat, and they have the benefit of familiarity over Watford, due to his season spent on loan at the Amex Stadium.

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