Gracia not surprised by speculation surrounding Doucoure
The midfielder signed a new five-year contract in the summer.
Watford boss Javi Gracia is not surprised to hear that Adboulaye Doucoure is reportedly attracting the attention of other clubs.
Stories this week have linked the 25-year-old with French champions Paris St Germain, while former Hornets manager Marco Silva is also a known admirer of the midfielder and could try and take him to Everton.
During the summer Doucoure was linked with Liverpool and Tottenham, before he signed a new five-year contract on the eve of the current campaign.
“For me Doucoure is a great player, a very important player for us. It doesn’t surprise me other clubs want to sign him because he’s a very good player,” said Gracia at his pre-match press conference ahead of the home game against Newcastle.
“Last season, every week we were talking about Liverpool or Everton, all the clubs that were interested in him. We can speak about it again.
“In this moment he’s playing for us and I tried to help him to improve his level thinking he’s going to be with us for a long time.”
When it was pointed out that the interest in Doucoure was a compliment to Gracia, the player and Watford, he replied: “For me it’s important and the club know it and the owner as well.
“But after that, they decide what is better for the club and sometimes some players, like last season what happened with Richarlison, then maybe something happens you don’t want.”
Watford will be without Christian Kabasele against Newcastle on Saturday. The defender was hospitalised after colliding with a goal post during the defeat to Chelsea, though he appears to have escaped serious injury.
“He’s not training with the team,” said Gracia. “After the game he didn’t feel well, but now I think he’s only feeling some pain (to his shoulder and back area), but I think he will be ready soon.
“In this moment I can’t tell you when he will be ready, but we now know – because after the game we didn’t know what he had – it’s only pain and I think he will be available for the next games.”
Will Hughes (hip), Andre Gray (leg), Sebastian Prodl (knee) and Adalberto Penaranda (foot) were all absent on Boxing Day and could remain out.