​Watford have 'made contact' with Sunderland over a possible £8m January transfer for out-of-favour midfielder Didier Ndong.

The ​Watford Observer understands that the Hornets have enquired about Ndong's availability, with the Gabon international having not started a game for the ​Championship club in almost two months.

Marco Silva is eyeing midfield reinforcements after his squad was beset by a number of injuries to key personnel such as Nathaniel Chalobah and Will Hughes.

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Ndong, who played well for ​Sunderland despite their relegation from the ​Premier League last season, has since been installed as Silva's favoured target for the winter window but it remains to be seen if he will join the Hertfordshire-based outfit this month.

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The 23-year-old has only made two brief substitute appearances for the Black Cats since the 1-0 defeat to north east rivals ​Middlesbrough on 5th November - 23-minute and 16-minute run outs coming in the 1-0 win over ​Fulham and 1-1 draw with ​Birmingham.

Ndong had played all but 11 minutes of Sunderland's campaign in England's second tier before he was hauled off the field in the 1-0 loss to Boro, and has been absent from eight of the past 10 match day squads.

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman clearly feels that the ex-Lorient star isn't up to scratch or isn't performing at the level required to help his team back an immediate return to the top division.

That has not put ​Watford off from moving for him, however, as Silva eyes midfield cover for the likes of Abdoulaye Doucoure, supposed ​West Ham target Etienne Capoue and Ben Watson as he bids to turn his side's own fortunes around.

Watford lie 10th after a series of underwhelming results over the past six weeks and, if they were to snap Ndong up for the reported price, would be taking him off Sunderland's hands for £6m less than the Black Cats paid for him 18 months ago.