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Watford linked with Celtic forward with agreed price tag

Watford are reported to be showing interest in signing Rocco Vata with the winger available at the end of the season for just €280,000.

The winger spent the first part of the season out in the cold as the final season of his contract ran down, after the winter break he scored as a substitute against Buckie Thistle but has only played three more minutes of first team action since then.

Vata’s Diary of the season would certainly make for interesting reading with a regular backdrop of continental clubs supposedly showing interest in the teenage winger.

Along the way Vata has scored twice for the Ireland u-21 side, featured in six UEFA Youth League matches for Celtic and found himself as the top scorer for the Celtic B team playing in the Lowland League.

Even with Daizen Maeda and Oh Hyeon-gyu on duty at the Asian Cup in January it was still a surprise to see Vata called into the first team squad, that news arrived with claims that contract talks had resumed.

Adding to the confused picture, this afternoon The Athletic reported:

Watford have a firm interest in signing Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Rocco Vata from Celtic this summer.

The 18-year-old forward, who is the son of former Celtic defender and Albania international Rudi Vata, scored his first senior goal in January having made his debut in December 2022.

He has a contract offer from Celtic that would run until 2027 but he has found first-team opportunities limited under Brendan Rodgers this season.

Vata is out of contract in the summer and Celtic would be due compensation as he has been at the club since the age of seven.

As a category 2 club in England, the compensation owed by Watford would be around €280,000 (£239,000).

Como, Bologna and Sampdoria all signalled an interest in Vata during the January transfer window.

The player is keen to play first team football having spent the last two seasons with Celtic B in the Lowland League.

Rocco Vata

With a regular flow of young Celtic prospects heading south of the border it is surprising that there has been very little speculation over Vata joining an English club.

Watford are owned by the son of the owner of Udinese with plenty of player movement between the two clubs with managers barely surviving a season in charge at Vicarage Road.

All of those issues won’t matter if they can offer Vata a route to first team football which would probably initially involve going out on loan to a lower league English side.

Rudi’s son started out playing as a winger two season’s ago in the Lowland League but has mostly been used as a striker during the current campaign.


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