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Watford switch focus to George Friend

Watford switch focus to George Friend

George Friend has been with Middlesbrough since 2012

Watford have turned their search for a new left-back to Middlesbrough defender George Friend, with the recently relegated club looking for around £8 million in order to let him go.

Watford's initial target for the left-back position was Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs, but they were priced out of a move by The Gunner's failure to budge on their £15 million valuation. 

There are murmurs of discontent in a number of Arsenal fringe players, including Gibbs, that Arsenal's steep asking prices are preventing them from moving to a club that can offer them regular football. 

Wojciech Szczesny has also had the same issue with the club looking for around £20 million for the player who has been loaned out for the last two seasons. 

However, StandardSport reports that it is not just the asking price that has made Watford reduce their interest in Gibbs. The player is reportedly looking for a wage of £80,000 per week, a big increase on his current deal. 

This has led The Hornets to look to Friend, 29, who featured regularly for Middlesbrough last season. Friend plays predominantly as a left-back, but can also operate as a centre-back, an extra dimension that will appeal to manager Marco Silva