Crystal Palace have joined Aston Villa and Newcastle United in the race to sign Watford midfielder Will Hughes this summer, football.london reports.
The south London outfit recently parted ways with several experienced players after the expiry of their contracts on June 30.
They have added quality young players to their ranks. Michael Olise was the club’s first summer signing under new boss Patrick Vieira.
The Eagles have also signed Remi Mathews, Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and Conor Gallagher – the latter on a season-long loan.
The club are now keeping tabs on Hughes, who could be available on a cut-price deal after turning down a new contract with the Hornets.
He recently entered the final year of his deal. The club have demoted him to the Under 23s with his reluctance to pen a contract extension.
The Eagles could face competition to sign the Derby County graduate with Villa and Newcastle also keeping tabs on his situation.
Hughes has been a quality signing for the Hornets over the past four seasons, but he appears to be eyeing a fresh challenge elsewhere.
The 26-year-old is good with the defensive attributes of his game. He has averaged 2.5 tackles per game throughout his career.
Vieira’s side need to add more quality in different departments this summer, and Hughes could add competition for places in midfield.
Gallagher is likely to be assured regular game time after being convinced to join the club despite being in advanced talks with Leeds United.
Vieira likes to play with a 4-3-3 set-up. Hughes could still fancy his chances of playing regularly as the Frenchman could prefer new arrivals.
Hughes has valuable experience in the Premier League with 77 appearances. He has chipped in with five goals and eight assists during this period.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com