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Faraoni joins Watford; Almunia signs new deal

Giovanni Bia has confirmed that Marco Davide Faraoni has agreed in principle to join Watford on a permanent deal.

The agent of Udinese Calcio defender Marco Davide Faraoni, Giovanni Bia, has confirmed the Italy Under-21 international has agreed in principle to join Watford on a permanent deal, Sky Sports understands.

Faraoni, who made 17 first-team appearances for the Udinese last season, joined the Zebrette from F.C. Internazionale Milano in the summer of 2012.

Udinese bought the player outright earlier this summer after initially receiving half of the player’s rights in the Samir Handanovič deal.

Faraoni, 21, was unable to establish himself at the Stadio Friuli last season, with Allan Marques Loureiro and Dušan Basta ahead of the 21-year-old in the pecking order under Francesco Guidolin.

The Italy youth international will now move to Vicarage Road, where he will continue to receive weekly paychecks from the Pozzo family.

“We have practically defined everything,” Bia told calciomercato.it. “So, we can affirm that Davide is a Watford player even if it’s missing the official announcement.

“In this way, the player will remain at a club in the Pozzo family, even if, for this case, we talk about a permanent move with a new five-year deal.

“The decision has been taken to allow Davide to grow and take on a new experience. The English Championship is ideal to evaluate young talents.”

Almunia signs new deal

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has signed a new one-year deal at Watford, much to the delight of manager Gianfranco Zola, according to Sky Sports.

Almunia, 36, joined the Golden Boys on a one-year deal after leaving the Emirates Stadium last summer.

The 36-year-old Spaniard enjoyed a magnificent 2012/13 campaign at Vicarage Road, keeping 10 clean sheets in 43 league appearances for Watford.

Despite Almunia’s great season,  the Hertfordshire-club were unable to secure promotion to the English Premier League after suffering a dramatic 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace F.C. in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium on 27 May 2013.

“It’s fantastic that Manuel has signed a new contract for next season,” Zola told the club’s official website.

“His experience and influence are so important for us and the impact he had at Watford last season was magnificent.”

Prior to agreeing a new deal with Watford, Almunia had been linked with a return to Spain, with Valencia CF rumoured to be interested in his services.

The future looks bright in the East, with Watford expected to compete for promotion once again next season.

According to the bookmakers, only six clubs — Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Wigan Athletic — are favoured to win the Championship over Watford in 2013/14.

Sat 6 July, 2013
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