Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher set to join Premier League Watford on free transfer when deal expires next month
PREMIER LEAGUE new boys Watford have swooped to sign forward Ashley Fletcher on a free transfer from Middlesbrough.
The 25-year-old former Manchester United prodigy has agreed a five-year deal to move to Vicarage Road when his contract expires next month.
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The Hornets, who have just sealed an immediate return to the top-flight from the Championship, are expected to officially announce the star as their first summer signing this week.
Fletcher leaves Boro after a rollercoaster four years that were hindered by injuries following his £6m arrival from West Ham.
He initially struggled to make a breakthrough and was shipped out to Sunderland on loan but returned to become a regular under Tony Pulis.
Fletcher was top scorer at the Riverside during the 2019/20 campaign but could only muster four goals in 14 matches this term under Neil Warnock after being sidelined for four months.
Despite cost-cutting at the club, and him being one of their top earners, Boro did offer Fletcher an extension to his deal.
But after he rejected their advances, Warnock told both him and fellow free agent Britt Assombalonga they were free to leave Boro a month before the end of the campaign.
Fletcher scored 19 goals in 92 league matches for the North East side.
Now he can look forward to trying to crack it in the Prem with Watford after struggling to make the grade at Old Trafford and the Hammers in the past.
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Watford boss Xisco Munoz appears to be trying to get his transfer business done early this summer.
The Hornets have already had two bids rejected for Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson and are expected to go back with a third.
They are also in talks with Hibernian star Josh Doig while forward Kwadwo Baah is joining from Rochdale next month when his deal at Spotland runs out.
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