Watford are now 7/4 favourites to sign Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton when his contract expires at the end of the month.
A number of bets in Ladbrokes shops, and in particular two branches in the north London area, have seen the odds on the 32-year-old joining the Hornets crash from 8/1 in the space of a week.
Barton spoke over the weekend of how he wants a “real football project” at his next club, and with new Europa League-winning boss Quique Sanchez Flores in place and owners who are willing to dig deep for progress, Vicarage Road looks more and more likely to be the setting for such a project.
The former Manchester City man has decided against taking a holiday at the end of the campaign just gone, in favour of jetting off for some warm-weather training, with his desire to avoid going long without a club obvious.
There could be competition for his signature with the likes of Leeds and Fulham reported to be interested in signing the combative player.
However despite the rumoured £1m-a-year Massimo Cellino is willing to offer Barton to join the Championship club, his well-documented regret at the reasons he joined QPR could put that one to bed.
Despite the fact his current side dropped from the Premier League with little more than a whimper, Barton’s performances did earn him some praise.
He showed his trademark grit and fight throughout the season, earning the third-highest average match rating, according to website WhoScored.com.
While he may not be the glamorous, marquee signing some fans will be demanding from the Pozzo family, the addition of a proven Premier League player on a free transfer could be just the ticket to help Watford avoid a drop straight back down to the second tier, for which they are 8/13 favourites.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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