Jeremy Ngakia has agreed a new long-term contract with Watford and the Championship club plan to open contract extension talks with two other senior players.
Ngakia’s existing deal was due to expire in the summer but is now set to sign on for four more years.
Meanwhile, Watford plan to open talks with the two other players who are out of contract this summer: goalkeeper Ben Hamer and midfielder Jake Livermore.
Ngakia joined Watford as a free agent in 2020 after leaving West Ham, where he came through the academy. He helped the club to win promotion in his first season and has made 72 appearances in total, including 16 in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old is on the verge of a return from three months out after requiring surgery on his ankle, which included treatment in Amsterdam. Ngakia is in competition for the right-back position with 19-year-old academy product Ryan Andrews, while midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru has also stood in during his absence.
On his return to action, Ngakia told the club’s official website: “I’m just a few weeks away from being able to play so I’m really buzzing about that. I’ve still got to take it step by step, but I feel like I’m close.
“In terms of personal targets, I see football as a team sport so my target for myself is to help the team get promoted as much as I can. The position that we’re in is good, we just need to keep believing and I’m sure that we can do it.”
Hamer, who was nominated for the Championship player of the month award for January, has assumed the No 1 position from Daniel Bachmann. The 36-year-old, who joined Watford on a two-year deal in the summer of 2022, took over from Bachmann due to an injury and has been ever-present in the league since.
Livermore signed a one-year deal as a free agent in the summer after leaving West Brom. The 34-year-old has become a key leadership figure under Valerien Ismael, who he had previously worked with at the Hawthorns, making 24 appearances and scoring three goals.
While new deals have not yet been agreed with the veteran pair, it is a positive sign that the club are keen to explore the possibility of extending their stay at Vicarage Road beyond this summer.
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