Football News

Watford set to join the race for Bournemouth stalwart

By Kieran Lawler

Claudio Ranieri is entering his first transfer window as the new Watford boss, and he is eyeing a deal for Steve Cook, per a report. 

The 30-year-old has been a mainstay at the Vitality since his move in 2011. After a loan spell from Brighton, the defender secured a permanent move to Bournemouth. Cook was a huge part of Bournemouth’s two successful promotion campaigns and their five-season spell in the topflight.

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He has featured 387 times for the Cherries across three divisions. However, the veteran centre back hasn’t been a consistent starter under new manager Scott Parker.

Cook wasn’t part of any of Parker’s matchday squads since their 3-2 loss to Derby County in November. However, since then, he’s has started three games in the league, including captaining his side against Blackburn.

According to Football Insider, Watford are the latest side to express their interest in Cook. Newcastle are another Premier League side who are monitoring his situation.

As the stalwart’s contract expires in the summer, Parker has admitted that it is ‘too early’ on talks over an extension.

Speaking to Dorset Live, Parker said: “Look, Steve has played two games has got back in the team and has done fantastically well. 

“I think Steve knows what his status here at the football club amongst the fans is and what the people at this club think of him, as well.

“I think it’s all too early. We will sit down in due course and then decide what the best way is.”

 Ranieri’s side sits 17th in the Premier League. They’ve already conceded 31 goals with only Leeds, Newcastle and Norwich shipping more than the Hornets this season.

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Scott Parker draws on belief

Bournemouth boss Scott Parker has expressed how his side need to keep working hard.

The Cherries started the season in impressive form. They raced into second in the Championship in the early part of the campaign. However, a six game winless means they’re now just one point ahead of third placed Blackburn

Parker said: “No doubt, are we the team we were six, seven weeks ago? No, of course not. You can see that. 

“I think there’s definitely an element of we look a little bit unconfident as well at the moment, and we just look a little bit jaded from where we were, due to results and due to the mindset.

“I’ve got to use all my experiences to do that. 

“We need a result and I think that will help of course. But this is it, this is where we are. This is currently it. We have to keep working hard, we have to keep believing that this run will turn. A million percent it will do. But we’ve got to keep believing, so it’s vitally important we do that.”

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