By Will Butcher
Watford have re-signed Jamaica international Adrian Mariappa after the defender was released by Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
The 29-year-old has signed for the Hornets on a three-year deal, despite being close to signing for Scottish giants Rangers earlier in the transfer window.
Watford unveiled their new signing on their official website, who re-signed after spending seven years with the Hornets since his debut in 2005 against Notts County.
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) August 30, 2016
The Daily Mail had claimed back in July that a deal for Mariappa to move north to the Ibrox was looking less likely and that manager Mark Warburton had decided to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements.
The Scottish Sun had also claimed that wages were a problem in the pursuit of Mariappa, while clubs in England were also keen to sign the centre-back.
The former Watford defender has had a tough season at Selhurst Park after only appearing in three Premier League games for the Eagles.
Mariappa made just five games shy of 250 appearances for Watford during his seven years at Vicarage Road, after graduating from the Hornets’ youth academy.
Rangers have brought in defensive additions this summer, with experienced duo Clint Hill and Matt Gilks joining former MK Dons right-back Lee Hodson in signing for the Gers.
In other Rangers transfer news, the Gers are bracing themselves for a bid from this Championship club if they lose their star striker to Aston Villa.