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Javi Gracia 'very close' to signing new Watford contract

Watford boss Javi Gracia
Watford boss Javi Gracia

Watford boss Javi Gracia has said he is very close to signing a new contract with the Premier League club.

It has been reported the Spaniard is set to agree terms on a new three-year deal with the Hornets.

And when asked on Thursday for an update on the matter, Gracia said : "We are moving forward. "I am positive, but it's not finished yet. We'll see in the next weeks. But I am positive, yes. Very close? Yes."

Gracia, appointed in January on an 18-month contract, is the 10th manager Watford have had since their Italian owners the Pozzo family took over at Vicarage Road in June 2012.

Having finished 14th in the table last season, the Hornets are currently eighth with 19 points from 11 games.

Gracia added: "I'm proud to be Watford manager. I don't know how long I'll be here, but I'm very proud to be at this club, to have the supporters we have, and to enjoy every day with the players. I'm very proud of all of them."

Gracia was speaking at his pre-match press conference, reported on Watford's official website, ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Southampton.

The 48-year-old confirmed captain Troy Deeney is available to make his return to action at St Mary's having missed the last three games with a hamstring problem.

Tom Cleverley, who has been out since January due a combination of hamstring and Achilles problems, is back in training but will not be involved in Saturday's contest.

Gracia said of the midfielder: "He is not fit but this week he's started to train with the team. I think it's very good news for us. Just seeing him on that pitch at the same time as the rest of the players is something very, very special at this moment."

Sebastian Prodl (hamstring) and Daryl Janmaat (knee) remain sidelined, and Etienne Capoue cannot be selected as he serves a one-match suspension having picked up his fifth booking of the season in last Saturday's 1-0 loss at Newcastle.

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages1

Paper Talk: Pogba's U-turn

Paul Pogba has made a dramatic U-turn on his Man United contract stance, Bayern want Man City youngster - all in Tuesday's back pages.

The latest done deals and transfer rumours with Sporting Life
2

The Transfer Market: Live

Keep up with all the latest transfer news reports and rumours along with the details of all the done deals and latest betting odds.

Eden Hazard: Destined for Real Madrid?3

Hazard opens Real door again

Eden Hazard has once again opened the door to joining Real Madrid, but has not discarded the idea of remaining at Chelsea.

4

Klopp facing more injury woe

Jurgen Klopp acknowledges he has serious injury problems to deal with as he heads off with his Liverpool 'warriors' to a warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

All smiles in Dubai for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer5

Is Ole Gunnar get United job?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joined an elite trio with his record start as Manchester United's caretaker manager, and he's now odds-on to get the job full-time.

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