Will Hughes is finally set to get his dream Premier League move after Watford reportedly agreed an £8m fee for the Derby County star.
The one-time Liverpool target is closing in on a switch to Vicarage Road after the Hornets decided to act and make an official offer for the midfielder, according to reputable Telegraph journalist John Percy's article on Wednesday.
Hughes' current agent is none other than former Watford footballer Paolo Vernazza, and his links to the Hertfordshire-based club will no doubt help make Hughes' transfer down south as seamless as possible.
The 22-year-old is viewed as one of the best players outside of England's top flight, and had been tipped to make a big money move to Anfield earlier in his career after he made his first-team debut as a 16-year-old.
That Pride Park departure failed to materialise at the time, but Hughes is now in line to feature in the Premier League if new Watford boss Marco Silva and the club's representatives can thrash out personal terms with Hughes and Vernazza.
Current Rams boss Garry Rowett is resigned to losing Hughes in a bid to raise funds to flesh out his first-team squad ahead of a potential promotion push in 2017/18, and will sacrifice the club's youth product in favour of acquiring new players for a gruelling Championship campaign.
Hughes' fee could rise to £10m if certain criteria in his supposed contract at Watford is met, but Watford's initial outlay will cost them just £8m to complete a deal for him.
The England Under-21 international, who is away with his national side at the European U-21 Championships in the Netherlands, was consistently linked with a move to Liverpool after he emerged from Derby's academy.
In an interview with the Telegraph in January, however, Hughes criticised young players who secure transfers to the Premier League's big boys and wound up sitting on the bench for seasons on end.
Will be sad to see Will Hughes go but ultimately, he hasn't kicked on.— SteveBloomersWashing (@SBW_DCFC) June 21, 2017
10 goals and 15 assists in five years. Take what we can get. #dcfc
He said: “I’ve been linked with every team under the sun since I was 16 but I haven’t really wanted to go anywhere. I feel like a veteran already and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I think I took it for granted playing so many games so young.
"You look at players in the Premier League at big teams, turning 20, 21, and not getting a sniff. I think some of them are happy now to pick up the money, sit on the bench for the under-23s, wish their career away. They don’t think long term that they could be without a club, struggling.
“I couldn’t think of anything worse. Some players are comfortable sitting on the bench but I don’t like that all. I can’t imagine that ever happening with me.”
Weybridge-born Hughes has made 189 appearances in all competitions for Derby, and has weighed in with 12 goals and 18 assists during that time.