WATFORD have been plunged into a nasty agent war over new signing Papa Gueye.
The Le Havre midfielder was announced as having joined the Hornets on a five-year deal in April.
Defensive midfielder Gueye, 21, is seen as the natural and long-term replacement for Etienne Capoue at the heart of the Vicarage Road engine room.
Watford were thrilled to have captured the midfielder for nothing after his contract in France expired.
But now Watford have been accused of conducting a medical with the player 12 months ago – when he was still under contract.
Watford are clear that they have done nothing wrong.
The accusation has been made by Gueye’s new agent, Pierre-Henri Bovis, appointed in place of previous representative Bakari Sanogo.
Bovis, a Paris-based lawyer, is claiming that Gueye signed up to THREE pre-contracts, including one with Watford, before January 1.
He also alleges that Gueye went to the Italian city of Udine last June for a medical, with all the bills for his stay paid by Udinese, owned by the Pozzo family who also control Watford.
That could be a breach of Fifa rules – although there is NO direct link to the Hornets.
Gueye signed his Watford contract, due to begin on July 1, after the turn of the year, when he was allowed to by Fifa contract rules.
Watford have also attempted to pay Sanogo through Le Havre, enlisting the FA’s financial clearing house, only for the payment to have been stalled because of a lack of the requisite banking details from the French club.
Bovis, however, has alleged: “My client alerted me to some particularly strange conditions in which his former agent got him to sign his contract with Watford in January 2020.
“At this stage, I have the most express reservations on the validity of this contract.
“It may have been concluded in an abusive manner, to the detriment of the interests of the player and his club, Le Havre.”
He added: “We are looking into possible irregularities around the signing of the contract.
“We do not deny the existence of an agreement concluded with Watford through Pape Gueye’s former agent, but we are pointing the finger at some potential anomalies.”
Watford remain insistent and convinced they have done nothing wrong and that Gueye happily agreed to sign for them in January – when he could have waited until the expiry of his Le Havre contract had he wanted to.
But Bovis, who seems determined to extract his cut of any deal, is whipping up claimed interests from other clubs and threatening to ask Fifa to investigate.
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