Premier League newcomers Watford have completed the signing of Turkish international Ozan Tufan from Fenerbahce, on an initial season-long loan with an option to buy.
The 26-year-old has spent the past six seasons with Fenerbahce and his displays in recent years have attracted interest from all over Europe.
It is Watford who have won the race for Tufan’s signature, announcing his arrival on a season-long loan on Thursday morning. The Hornets also hold the right to make his move permanent at the end of the season, after inserting an option to buy clause in the deal.
The midfielder began his career with Bursaspor before signing for Fenerbahce in 2015, where he has gone on to make over 150 appearances. He is a defensive-minded holding midfielder with 63 international caps to his name, also contributing nine goals after making his Turkey debut in 2014.
Watford have been looking to strengthen their midfield as they look to fend off relegation back to the Championship. The Hornets were relegated at the end of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, but bounced back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Juraj Kucka is among 12 new faces at the club this season, but the Slovak midfielder is facing up to three months on the sidelines after picking up an injury in the opening day win over Aston Villa. Elsewhere, the most high-profile signings are Emmanuel Dennis – who netted twice for Club Brugge against Real Madrid in the Champions League – Josh King, formerly of Bournemouth and Everton, and Danny Rose – who was released by Tottenham at the conclusion of his contract.
Tufan’s arrival strengthens Watford’s midfield hand but could signal a departure for Will Hughes, who is currently at odds with the club over a new contract. The Hornets have offered him a five-year contract extension, but the 26-year-old has rejected the club’s advances thus far and is now into the final 12 months of his contract.
Consequently, Hughes has been training away from the first team, and is understood to have been subject of a £5m bid from Crystal Palace – an offer that was knocked back.