Report: Watford set to sign Gent midfielder Birger Verstraete

Javi Gracia, Manager of Watford makes a point during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on March 11, 2018 in London, England.

Birger Verstraete has reportedly ignored interest from France and the Middle East to seal a move to the Premier League with Watford.

Birger Verstraete midfielder of KAA Gent  pictured during the Jupiler Pro League match between Kaa Gent and STVV  at Ghelamco stadium on September 16, 2018 in Gent, Belgium, 16

Watford are set to make Gent midfielder Birger Verstraete their first signing of the summer transfer window, according to HLN.

A 25-year-old central midfielder who made his Belgium debut against Scotland last September, Verstraete shone for Gent last season as they finished fifth in the Jupiler League table.

 

But his time with The Buffalos appears to be coming to an end. HLN claims that Verstraete is on his way to Watford having held talks with the Premier League outfit, who finished in the top half in 2018/19 while reaching the FA Cup final.

According to Het Nieuwsblad, Verstraete has also turned down offers from France and has no interest in moving to the Middle East. Gent are desperately trying to extend a contract that expires in 2020 but to no avail with Watford moving heaven and earth to lure him to Vicarage Road.

Siebe Schrijvers of Club Brugge and Birger Verstraete of Kaa Gent fight for the ball during the Jupiler Pro League match between Club Brugge and Kaa Gent at Jan Breydel Stadium on March 31,...

 

The report does not make clear how much Watford will have to pay but Transfermarkt suggests that he is worth a fee of around £3.5 million.

It will be interesting to see what sort of role Verstraete will have at Watford and whether he has been lined up to replace Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Hans Vanaken, Birger Verstraete, Leandro Trossard and Timothy Castagne during a Belgium training session at the Belgian National Football Center on September 4, 2018 in Tubize, Belgium.

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