Adrian Boothroyd, the Watford manager, yesterday faced up to the realities of life at a selling club when he conceded that he is no longer certain of holding on to Ashley Young, despite rejecting a £5m bid for the highly-rated forward during the last 48 hours.
Boothroyd has also turned down two other offers for Young, who has been Watford's outstanding outfield player during what has been a difficult season so far in the Premiership. He has consistently maintained that the England Under-21 international, who has been linked with several sides, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa, will not be sold this month. But Boothroyd accepted yesterday that arguably his best player could be on his way.
"I have had three Premiership clubs on the phone making verbal bids for Ashley Young, but I have turned them all down," he said. "As it stands today, I absolutely do not see him leaving the club this month. But tomorrow, Ashley might come up to me and say: 'I've had enough.' But he is not daft, and he knows this is the best place for him to be."
Boothroyd added: "I know there will be people who have agendas to have Ashley moved on, and I understand that. But, thankfully, the people surrounding him are good people, and Ashley is a very level-headed, talented young man.
"If and when the time is right, and he wants to go, he will go. But the price has to be right, and it has to mean the club will be improved."
Elsewhere in the transfer market yesterday, Tore Andre Flo linked up with his former Chelsea team-mates Dennis Wise and Guy Poyet, signing a short-term contract at Leeds.
The 33-year-old striker, who has moved from the Norwegian side Valerenga until the end of the season, played alongside Wise and Poyet at Chelsea. He made a big impact at Stamford Bridge after signing in 1997 from SK Brann, scoring 50 goals before making a £12.5m move to Rangers in 2001.
The Flo deal completed a busy day for the struggling Championship side, who also gave short-term deals to Tresor Kandol, who had been on loan from Barnet, and the Espanyol defender Armando Sa, subject to international clearance.
The United States defender Oguchi Onyewu, meanwhile, was reportedly close to a move to Fulham last night. He arrived for a medical the day after the New England Revolution midfielder Clint Dempsey was reported to be awaiting a work permit to join the club.
Onyewu's club, Standard Liege, left for a training camp in Portugal on Tuesday, but the defender - who turned down a move to Middlesbrough in the summer - did not travel with the team. "I know nothing [about his whereabouts]. But I don't think he'll be joining us in training camp," the Liege coach, Michel Preud'homme, said.Reuse content