Watford eye up Serie A veteran once courted by Arsenal and Liverpool as QPR make huge board change

Watford could turn to an experienced Serie A star to add firepower to their play-off push.
Valerien Ismael has been linked with a Serie A striker.Valerien Ismael has been linked with a Serie A striker.
Valerien Ismael has been linked with a Serie A striker.

The Championship returns in full this weekend after a brief pause for a frenzy of FA Cup third-round fixtures over the past few days.

There was plenty of drama for the second-tier sides entering the competition with QPR throwing away a 2-0 lead to Premier League outfit Bournemouth and Watford leaving it until the 96th minute to see off National League opponents Chesterfield.

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Both of those London sides feature in your Tuesday afternoon transfer round-up.

Watford eye up former Arsenal and Liverpool target

Watford could look to a former Arsenal and Liverpool target to bolster their attacking options and ignite a play-off push over the second half of the Championship season.

The Hornets have a strong goalscoring record this season with their 42 league goals only bettered by clubs currently in the top four and Plymouth Argyle. However, Valerian Ismael appears determined to add more firepower.

Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport report that Watford are weighing up a deal for Sassuolo striker Gregoire Defrel. The 32-year-old is an experienced star who has racked up nearly 300 Serie A appearances and was once the subject of Premier League interest.

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Both Liverpool and Arsenal were linked with moves for the player in 2016, during his first period at Sassuolo. The Frenchman had bagged seven league goals and registered six assists in the season prior to that summer window.

Defrel's contract is set to expire at the end of the season and could be available for a lowly £4 million, should Watford be tempted by the player, although recent calf problems could ring alarm bells for the Championship club.

QPR make significant director change

QPR technical director and head of coaching Chris Ramsey has left the club after 10 years of work at Loftus Road. The decision comes after a 'review of their academy structure'.

The 61-year-old is the most recent person to have managed the Hoops in the Premier League. Ramsey took on the role following the resignation of Harry Redknapp in February 2015 but could not help the side avoid relegation.

Chris Ramsey has left his QPR position.Chris Ramsey has left his QPR position.
Chris Ramsey has left his QPR position.
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Ramsey's departure from the role as technical director comes at a crunch time for QPR with the January transfer window open and a relegation fight on their hands. Ramsey said that the 'club will always have a special place in my heart' as the announcement was made.

Chairman Lee Hoos added: "Chris has been a great servant to the club. I cannot thank him enough for his incredible hard work, dedication and guidance. However, as we thoroughly rationalise everything we do, and following very amicable discussions with Chris, it is felt this move is in the best interests of all parties. He will always remain a friend of the club."

Sheffield Wednesday keen on Premier League starlet

Sheffield Wednesday could make a move for Brentford attacking midfielder Myles Peart-Harris for added dynamism in their relegation dogfight. The big 21-year-old is a fringe player at the Bees currently but thrived on loan at Forest Green Rovers last season.

The midfielder, who came through the Chelsea academy before joining Brentford in 2021, has made three Premier League appearances and one FA Cup cameo this term but could be allowed to leave on a temporary basis to gain experience.

The Star reports that the Owls are keen to add another attacking midfielder to their squad and believe the Brentford man's youth and physicality would add important energy to Danny Rohl's side.

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