According to a report by the Press Association, Watford has rejected a $29 million bid from Leicester City for striker Troy Deeney. The report claims Watford have told Leicester that Deeney is not for sale at any price.
However, while the Press Association story claims that Deeney is happy at Watford, another report by the Daily Mail says that Deeney wishes to make the switch to the King Power Stadium in order to play in the Champions League next year.
Here’s the kicker: Deeney will be 28 years old by the time the season begins. By no means is Deeney past his prime, as his would-be teammate Jamie Vardy is still climbing at 29, but it’s not on the youthful side of the asset sheet either.
Nevertheless, this seems like the ultimate case of a good deal for both sides. With Vardy having topped 3,000 minutes in league play alone last season and set to turn 30 in the midst of the upcoming campaign, he could use some help. His backup Leonardo Ulloa will hit the 30-year-old mark before the start of the season. The Leicester attack is aging.
With Vardy and Ulloa both over the athletic hill and no guarantees that Riyad Mahrez – or Vardy for that matter – will be back next season, it seems logical that Leicester is looking for depth at the forward position.
Teams such as Watford are always desperate to hold onto their best players, and Deeney was unquestionably a vital asset up front. However, with Odion Igahlo a year younger than Deeney and also a better goalscorer (Igahlo scored 18 across all competitions last season to Deeney’s 13, in 500 fewer minutes), it seems logical for the Hornets to cash in on a guy whose transfer value will never be higher.
At a whopping $29 million, it seems a no-brainer for Watford to sell and for Leicester City to buy. Watford could certainly find a replacement to Deeney with that cash, plus the influx of Premier League television money that is driving transfer prices to absurd levels this summer. So why are they playing hard to get with a player who isn’t irreplacable?