Watford have confirmed the signing of AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang on loan until the end of the season.
The deal also includes an option for the Hornets to make the deal a permanent one in the summer for a fee of £13.5 million.
Watford complete Niang deal
Niang made 77 appearances for AC Milan, scoring on 12 occasions for the Italian side, and won his first major honour when Milan were victorious over Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana in December.
The Frenchman signed for Milan from Caen where he scored five goals in 30 appearances.
Milan have loaned the 22-year-old out on two previous occasions to Montpellier in 2014 and more recently Genoa. Niang scored nine goals in 33 appearances in his two loan spells away from the San Siro combined.
The forward has also represented France with the U16’s, U17’s and U21’s however was briefly banned from representing his national side after breaking a night time curfew when on duty with the Under-21’s.
Watford active in January
Niang is now Watford’s third acquisition of the January transfer window following the arrival of Mauro Zarate on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Fiorentina and Everton’s Tom Cleverley on loan until the end of the season.
Zarate, who has also had spells with West Ham and QPR, joins Watford after scoring just five goals in 22 appearances for Fiorentina. Meanwhile, Cleverley is now in his second spell at Vicarage Road after spending the 2009/10 season on loan from Manchester United. Cleverley made 33 appearances for the Hornets during his first spell scoring 11 times.
Hornets add attacking options
Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, who fired in a combined total of 28 goals in the Premier League last season, have struggled to find form this season and Walter Mazzarri now has a few different options in front of goal for the remainder of the season.
Both Zarate and Niang offer a pacier option up front for Mazzarri in contrast to the target man approach often employed when Deeney leads the line.
Also, Stefano Okaka has recently returned from injury and could return to the starting line-up this weekend against Millwall. Okaka, who has only made seven appearances for Watford in all competitions, fired home two goals in a 3-2 victory against Everton back in November.
Watford will hope that their new-found options in the final third will turn their season around following a poor run of form which has seen them slip to 14th in the Premier League.