Watford stepped up their preparations for their return to the Premier League by taking on West Bromwich Albion in a pre-season friendly last weekend.
Although the Hornets were unable to seal victory over Valerien Ismael's side, their players were able to make considerable strides in terms of their match fitness.
Having already secured the services of eight new players this summer, it will be intriguing to see whether manager Xisco Munoz decides to make any more alterations to his squad between now and the end of the transfer window.
The scale of Watford's business may depend on whether they are able to resolve the future of one of their key players in the coming weeks.
The midfielder played a significant role in helping the Hornets secure promotion to the top-flight last season as he made 30 appearances for the club in the Championship.
Particularly impressive following Munoz's decision to switch to a 4-3-3 formation, Hughes helped to dictate the tempo of the club's matches during the closing stages of the campaign.
However, having recently attracted interest from Aston Villa, a fresh update has now emerged concerning the midfielder.
According to the Watford Observer, Hughes has rejected the five-year deal that was offered to him by the Hornets.
It is understood that Watford are not expected to offer him an improved financial package.
With Villa still in the hunt for Hughes' signature, this summer represents the final chance that Munoz's side will get to secure a reasonable fee for the 26-year-old.
GIVEMESPORT's Joshua Cole says...
Although it would unquestionably be a blow if Watford are forced to part ways with Hughes, it may be worth selling him if he doesn't want to be at the club anymore.
Providing that the Hornets receive a sizeable chunk of money for the midfielder, Munoz could potentially use this fee to reinvest in his squad.
However, when you consider that Hughes possesses a great deal of experience at this level having featured in the Premier League on 77 occasions during his career to date, it could be argued that Watford ought to change their stance and submit one final contract offer for him.
With all the uncertainty surrounding Hughes' future, Munoz may find it beneficial to draft up a list of replacements as a failure to do so could have a detrimental impact on his side's fortunes next season.
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