Italian side Fiorentina rejected a bid from Watford for striker Khouma Babacar in the January transfer window.
Fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace were also interested in the Senegalese forward who has a contract with Fiorentina until 2019.
Who is Khouma Babacar?
Babacar has been with Fiorentina since 2009 and has appeared for the Italian side on 96 occasions scoring 28 goals.
The 23-year-old has become an instrumental part of Fiorentina’s side this year scoring eight goals in 17 games. Fiorentina currently sit 8th in Serie A and are nine points behind Napoli who occupy the final Champions League spot.
Babacar has spent time on loan at Italian Serie B club’s Padova and Modena as well as a spell in Spain with Racing Santander. The Senegalese striker is yet to earn a cap for his country but has represented both the U17 and U20 sides.
Watford did gain from Italy
Despite Fiorentina not allowing Watford to begin talks with Babacar the Hornets did manage to pry two players away from Italy in the January transfer window, with one coming from Fiorentina.
Mauro Zarate was allowed to leave the Italian club for Vicarage Road. The 29-year-old who scored two goals for Fiorentina this season is yet to feature for Watford however.
M’Baye Niang also joined Watford on loan until the end of the season from AC Milan but the Hornets do have the option to make the move permanently in the summer, a move which looks likely.
Niang was on the scoresheet for Watford as they overcame Burnley 2-1 this past weekend in the Premier League.
Hornets need for goals
Watford have been short of goals in recent months particularly during a spell between December and January which saw the Hornets win just one game in eight – a FA Cup victory over Burton Albion.
Babacar could have provided more firepower for Walter Mazzarri’s side and would have served as a direct replacement for Odion Ighalo who left for the Chinese Super League.
However, the additions of Zarate and Niang may fix this problem along with the possible return to form for captain Troy Deeney.