Watford interested in January transfer of Lyon starlet Maxwel Cornet as Javi Gracia looks to push for Europe

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Watford are interested in bringing Olympique Lyonnais winger Maxwel Cornet to the Premier League if they can convince the Ligue 1 giants to sell this month.

Cornet, 22, is just one of the talents to progress from Lyon’s youth system and into the first team in recent years after being bought from Metz as a teenager and he has impressed this season. 

The twinkle-toed forward, who can play on either flank, particularly stood out in Lyon’s draw with Manchester City in late November. 

The Hornets were alerted to Cornet’s availability with the Ivorian’s contract now moving into its last two years. Lyon have famously, or perhaps infamously, been a tough club to negotiate with and much of that is down to the fierce reputation of president Jean-Michel Aulas, but the French giants are understood to be willing to cash in on Cornet in order to hold on to some of their crown jewels. 

Lyon face a real battle to keep Houssem Aouar, Bertrand Traore, Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir, Lucas Tousart and Tanguy Ndombele all at the club for next season. Financially, that would be a significantly easier task if Aulas can extract full value for Cornet with Les Gones eyeing a £26m fee plus future incentives including a sell-on fee should Cornet go on to bigger and brighter things. 

It would represent a significant return for a player who has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular, but one who counts on plenty of promise.

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