Chris Hughton has reportedly turned down a return to the Premier League with Watford and emerges as an option to replace Jonathan Woodgate.

Middlesbrough could turn their attention to Chris Hughton after the experienced coach rejected the chance to take over at Watford, according to 90Min.

The managerial merry-go-round is in full swing as clubs start to panic at the midway point of the season. Watford, as you might expect, were one of the first to pull the trigger with Quique Sanchez Flores biting the bullet just ten Premier League games into his second spell in Hertfordshire.

Since that fatal 2-1 defeat to relegation rivals Southampton last Saturday, The Hornets have been linked with the likes of Paul Clement, Roger Schmidt and Jose Angel Ziganda but they remain without a manager almost a week later.

And the search isn’t getting any easier.

According to 90Min, Hughton has turned down the chance to take over on a short-term contract until the end of the season. The former Newcastle and Norwich boss was sacked by Brighton in May and he understandably has no interest in taking over a club already six points from safety and seemingly sleepwalking towards relegation.

Middlesbrough, in contrast, are far from doomed just yet.

They are just a point above the Championship drop zone, however, and owner Steve Gibson is apparently sounding out a number of managerial veterans with Jonathan Woodgate drowning in the tide.

Boro have held talks with 71-year-old NeiL Warnock but, as 90 Min suggests, Hughton is their number one target.

It remains to be seen, however, whether a man who won the Championship with north east neighbours Newcastle would be interested in returning to the region with their bitter rivals.

In other news, Report: Leeds reject centre of multi-million-pound bidding war, club want 7 times what Whites got