Watford forced to look elsewhere after centre-back target Juan Jesus moves to Roma

Juan Jesus, said to be one of Watford's top defensive targets this summer, has completed a move to AS Roma - leaving Walter Mazzarri having to scour for alternatives.

Watford forced to look elsewhere after centre-back target Juan Jesus moves to Roma
(Picture: Getty Images)

A proposed Watford loan deal to bring in centre-back Juan Jesus from Inter Milan has fallen through, after another Serie A club swooped in to seal his signature.

Loan move off for Brazillian

The defender has instead made a temporary move to the Italian capital to sign for Roma on a temporary basis, after it had been suggested in the press that the Hornets were firmly interested in the 25-year-old.

It is said that the Brazilian international was top of the list for new Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri as he looks to improve his defensive options ahead of the coming campaign.

But he will not have to look elsewhere, having been beaten by Roma - who also included an option to make the deal permanent, which is something that Watford were also keen on.

Jesus after completing his move to Roma. (Picture: Getty Images)
Jesus after completing his move to Roma. (Picture: Getty Images)

The fact that he flourished in a 3-5-2 system at Inter will have been appealing to Mazzarri as he is trying to implement the same system at Vicarage Road

Jesus made his debut for his local side Internacional in 2010 and quickly established himself in the heart of the defence that won the Copa Libertadores, the South American Champions League.

Those abilities brought him to the attention of Inter and after moving to the San Siro, he became a regular after taking the number 5 shirt from retiring captain Dejan Stankovic.

Hornets forced to look for new targets

His first team involvement decreased dramatically last season following the appointment of former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.

Jesus started less than half of Inter’s Serie A fixtures last season prompting speculation over a move, with Watford having been keen on bringing him in with the offer of more regular game time.

The Brazilian is under contract at the San Siro until the summer of 2018 but he could possibly move to the Stadio Olympico next summer, should Roma activate the clause to do so.

As for Watford, Mazzarri will be keen to move quicky to improve his back line after missing out on Jesus. The recent loan signing of Colombia full-back Juan Camilo Zuniga has at least the softened the blow.