Hornets accept bid for Graham

Brendan Rodgers, a long-time admirer of Graham, initially saw a

£3million offer rejected by the Hornets soon after Swans

gained promotion to the Premier League courtesy of last Monday’s

play-off final victory over Reading at Wembley. But the south Wales

club returned with an improved offer which Watford accepted over

the weekend, paving the way for talks over personal terms with the

forward who bagged 24 league goals last season to top the

Championship’s scoring charts. Swansea’s previous transfer record

is the deal which took Scott Sinclair from Chelsea to the Liberty

Stadium last summer for an initial £500,000 which has the

potential to rise to £1million with add-ons. There are no

shortage of suitors for Graham’s services, with Watford having

previously rejected bids of £2.5million from QPR and West

Brom. And although the path is now cleared for the 25-year-old to

talk to Swansea, rival parties will be alerted to the

£3.5million figure accepted and may now launch similar bids. A

statement on Watford’s official website read: “Watford Football

Club confirms that it accepted a £3.5million bid for Danny

Graham from Swansea City FC over the weekend. “This means the

player is permitted to talk to the Swans about his future. “The

25-year-old striker remains under contract at Vicarage Road in the

meantime.” Graham started his senior career at Middlesbrough and

enjoyed loan spells with Darlington, Derby, Leeds, Blackpool and

Carlisle before securing a permanent move to Brunton Park in the

summer of 2007. A healthy strike rate for the Cumbrians convinced

current Swans boss Rodgers to lure him to Watford two years later

when he was in charge of the Hornets. And Rodgers all but completed

his capture before parting ways himself at Vicarage Road in the

summer of 2009 to take the reins at Reading. But the Northern

Irishman’s admiration for Graham has remained and he attempted to

lure the marksman to south Wales last summer only to be denied.

Graham, named in the PFA’s Championship team of the year for

2010/11, has found the net 41 times in 98 appearances in total for

Watford and has one year remaining on his contract.