TROY DEENEY is heading for showdown talks with Watford chiefs next week – with West Brom waiting in the wings, hoping to land the 32-year-old striker.
Slaven Bilic wants the experienced Hornets skipper to spearhead Albion’s attack this season and is prepared to take the Brummie hitman on loan for a season if necessary.
First Deeney faces a crucial meeting to thrash out his future role, under new Serbian boss Vladimir Ilic, after a decade of service to the Vicarage Road club.
The Brummie-born star was on £70,000 a week in the Premier League and it’s possible the relegated Hornets would prefer Albion to pick up that bill while they are in the Championship – along with a season-long fee.
Deeney is interested in returning to the second city, where he kicked off his pro career with Walsall before joining Watford in a £500,000 deal in 2010, especially as it offers him a speedy return to the top flight.
Tony Pulis tried and failed to take him from the Hornets to the Hawthorns in 2017.
Although Bilic is keen to bring down the average age of his current squad, he is working on a tight transfer budget of around £20million and has already spent £8.5million of it on Matheus Pereira.
Adding Deeney to his front-line on a loan deal could suit both clubs and give Bilic the proven Premier striker he desperately needs at a fraction of the cost.
Tottenham were rumoured to want Deeney as a back-up to Harry Kane but with the start of the new season just a fortnight away, Bilic’s need may be greater.
The former Croatia boss needs to hit the ground running on his side’s return to the top flight.
And talks are progressing with Benfica over another loan deal for midfielder Filip Krovinovic as Bilic attempts to wring every penny of value from his meagre transfer budget.