Malaga manager Javi Gracia has admitted it is "inevitable" Watford target duo Carlos Kameni and Nordin Amrabat will be sold should another club meet their release clauses in the current window. The Spanish boss, nevertheless, says there will be no negotiation on the departure as the club want to keep the pair in their ranks for the remainder of the campaign.
Spanish newspaper AS reported in December that Quique Sanchez Flores had earmarked the signing of the Malaga goalie as a priority for the January mercato as back-up for eteran Heurelho Gomes. They claimed that Kameni would be eager to try life in the Premier League, pointing out that his release clause could be as low as €1m (£0.75m, $1.1m).
Later Diario Sur claimed Watford were also monitoring the situation of winger Amrabat. Malaga signed the 28-year-old from Galatasaray last year after he impressed at the club on loan, setting his release clause at €8m.
Javi Gracia sees the two as a crucial part of his plans for the rest of the season, but confirmed that if Watford pay their release clause – and the players agree to move – the club cannot do anything to avoid their departures.
"I do not think any player will leave the club for something lower than their release clause," the Malaga boss said to AS when asked about the situation. "But players leaving the club if someone pays their release clause is inevitable."
Sanchez Flores confirmed earlier this week that his first intention of the window is to sign Spurs outcast Andros Townsend.
"He has the characteristics that we are looking for," the Spanish boss said, according to BT Sport. "We have players in the side who can play intelligent football but we need skill, we need velocity. We need to make a balance with these players and he has the characteristics. I don't like to talk about names but these are the kind of characteristics we are looking for." Townsend has played for Watford before, on a month-long loan in 2011.
Reports suggest Watford had a £10m bid rejected out of hand by the North Londoners, who are holding out for a larger cash sum. This may have forced Flores to use his knowledge of the Spanish league to bag cheaper options in the form of Amrabat.