Ismaila Sarr’s future at Watford: Dilemma looms with fading value and “enormous” estimated wage
Football League World analyses the situation of Watford’s Ismaila Sarr
Ismaila Sarr has only one year left on his contract and Watford must make a decision about his future.
Watford might have to sell Sarr for a lower price than expected due to a lack of major interest from other clubs.
It would make sense for Watford to cash in on Sarr rather than risk losing him on a free transfer at the end of his contract.
Ismaila Sarr is now on the cusp of entering his fifth season at Vicarage Road, as the club enter its latest managerial ‘era’ under the stewardship of former Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion head coach Valerien Ismael.
Despite the Hornets’ underwhelming 11th place finish in last season’s Sky Bet Championship, the Senegalese international remained one of the club’s bright spots.
However, this current transfer window presents itself as the main opportunity for the club to cash in and recoup some of the club record £40m to secure his services under then head coach Javi Gracia.
Since joining four summers ago, Sarr has made 131 appearances in both the Premier League and Championship, scoring 34 times.
Here at Football League World, we assess his current situation with the new season fast approaching.
What is Ismaila Sarr’s contract situation at Watford?
On July 4th, Andrew French of The Watford Observer reported that the new Hornets boss expected a decision on Sarr’s immediate future to be made imminently, given that he only has 12 months left on his current deal.
“We will have a talk with him (when he comes back from holiday) and with the club to get to a decision,” Ismael said.
“It’s clear that what I want is players who want to be involved, who are hungry, who have the desire to work hard.”
Sarr is yet to feature in any of the Hornets pre-season friendlies, which could possibly drop a hint at where his future lies.
How much could Watford expect for Ismaila Sarr?
It was reported earlier in the year by The Athletic that the Hornets would be willing to let Sarr depart for pastures new, after the club were unable to regain their Premier League status, understandably, as he is one of the most highly-rated players throughout the Championship.
Earlier in the transfer window, Premier League outfit West Ham United and Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen were linked with the winger, who was reported to have a £20m valuation, as per Jeunes Footeux, but any major interest in the Senegalese has since died down significantly
It would be interesting to see if the German side do look to target Sarr in the remaining weeks of the transfer window, as they look set to lose French winger Moussa Diaby to Aston Villa for a £43m fee. With Watford potentially looking to sell for cheaper than they ever anticipated, Leverkusen could look to strike a deal for a bargain price.
It was also reported in early June by Gazzeta dello Sport that Sarr was of interest to Serie A giants and UEFA Champions League semi-finalists AC Milan, as they look to bolster their own forward options. But similarly to the aforementioned rumours, any significant interest has gone quiet.
Where does this leave Watford?
As Watford undergo another period of change, it would be logical for the club to cash in on Sarr, instead of playing the risk of losing him on a free transfer at the end of his contract
What is Sarr’s wage at Watford?
Capology estimate that he is earning £63,077 per week – which is an enormous wage at this level of football – and this money could be used to help Ismael invest in players which fit his system as he looks to push Watford further up the table.
The club’s sale of Joao Pedro to Brighton will have also helped that cause, so will we see the 25-year-old follow suit in the coming weeks?