Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Surely Watford are not going to sell one of their most influential players on the verge of a new Premier League season and replace him with a man who flopped at Stoke City?  

Well, yes they are, if reports are to be believed. 

The Northern Echo have backed up earlier claims, stating that Newcastle United have entered talks over a deal that would see Will Hughes leave Hertfordshire for Tyneside for a cool £12 million. 

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From a financial perspective, selling the former Derby County dynamo does make some degree of sense.

Hughes has just one year left on his contract and a £12 million windfall would see Watford make a profit on a player they signed back in 2017. 

From a sporting perspective, however, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Hughes’ departure will leave a massive hole in Xisco Munoz’s midfield.

And it is hard to see Stoke City’s forgotten man Peter Etebo emulating the impact of a man who pulled the strings as Watford finished second in the Championship last season. 

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Sun believes that Isaac Hayden could be heading to Vicarage Road as part of the deal that will see Hughes go in the other direction.

While an impressive addition in his own right – Newcastle supporters are desperate to see the 26-year-old stay – Hayden is hardly a like-for-like replacement; more a defensive scrapper than a probing play-maker.

Finding someone capable of stepping into Hughes’ shoes will be easier said than done. Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone at Vicarage Road has come to that conclusion…

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In other news, Report: Newcastle don't think they're ready for 52-year-old to be their next manager right now