Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Premier League newcomers Watford have bid £5 million for Sampdoria midfielder Morten Thorsby as a potential replacement for Aston Villa and Newcastle United target Will Hughes, as reported by SampNews24

As Hughes continues to stall on extending a contract that runs out in 12 months’ time, Xisco Munoz and co have little choice but to start thinking about life without their blond midfield maestro. 

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The former Derby County star is a target for Newcastle as well as Aston Villa.

And Watford have a decision to make. Do they sell Hughes while they can or try to get one more year of football out of a man whose industry and vision could be integral to their hopes of remaining in the top flight? 

Securing Thorsby’s signature could, at least, make that decision a bit easier. 

Could Thorsby replace Will Hughes at Watford?

The Norway international is no Hughes clone – he’s 6ft 2in and more of a physical presence in the heart of midfield – but he does possess many of the attributes that have made the 26-year-old Englishman such an integral part of the Watford side.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Thorsby, like Hughes, is a fine passer of the ball and isn’t afraid to get stuck in.

He accumulated ten yellow cards in 29 Serie A starts last term and that cynical streak could come in handy at Watford, who had a midfield with the consistency of warm butter the last time they were a Premier League team. 

Watford have yet to meet Sampdoria’s £6 million asking price, however, offering just £5 million so far. Talks are expected to continue, though, and there’s belief a compromise could be reached sooner rather than later.  

One thing’s for sure, Aston Villa and Newcastle will be watching developments like a hawk. Thorsby’s arrival could push Hughes that little bit closer to the exit. 

The former Eredivisie ace has been linked with West Ham too, although David Moyes now appears to be looking elsewhere.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

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