Friday 15 December 2017

Watford set to hold off interest from Arsenal and Man United in Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo

Watford are confident striker Odion Ighalo, pictured, will stay at Vicarage Road until at least the end of the season
Watford are confident striker Odion Ighalo, pictured, will stay at Vicarage Road until at least the end of the season

Mark Bryans

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores insists it is "completely impossible" that Troy Deeney or Odion Ighalo will be sold during the current transfer window - but could offer no assurances beyond the end of the season.

Captain Deeney has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent days but distanced himself from the rumours while the club's leading goalscorer Ighalo has stated it is his 'dream' to one day play for Manchester United.

Both have been in fine form for the Hornets this season as Flores has guided the promoted side to ninth in the Barclays Premier League table.

They host strugglers Newcastle in the FA Cup third round on Saturday and, while Ighalo or Deeney may yet be rested for the clash with Steve McClaren's side, Flores has moved to deny all speculation linking the pair with a January departure from the Hertfordshire outfit.

"I think it's completely impossible," the Spaniard said when asked if there was any possibility either player would be sold.

"Our target as a team is very clear. The confidence of these players is amazing. They are completely confident in themselves.

"They are not in a hurry or a rush to leave Watford. They're happy at Watford. It's important to value these kinds of things - how important it is to be happy in a place."

Deeney, 27, signed a new deal with the club in the summer after leading them to promotion and although he admitted he was flattered by interest from the Gunners, he said he has no desire to seek a transfer.

"No, no, no. We have still got a project to complete," he told talkSPORT when asked about leaving.

"The pleasing thing from my point of view and from Iggy's (Ighalo's) is people want us. That shows that we have been doing something right for the past five, six months.

"But we have got a project to complete and the gaffer has stated before that whatever happens in the summer, will happen in the summer.

"It is very flattering. My son is an Arsenal fan so he read it in the paper the other day and I don't think he is happy that I am staying at Watford."

Ighalo has scored 14 league goals so far this campaign and is likely to have caught the eye of several clubs with his form and Flores, while insisting that neither striker will be sold in January, did admit they may look to move on at the end of the season.

"It's something you need to accept," he said.

"When? I don't know. It's possible someday you'll lose these players. They have confidence with the club for this year, I'm sure they want to achieve the objectives of the club with this team. After that, it's football and anything is possible.

"It is realistic to think that Ighalo, Deeney or Etienne Capoue are playing really well and will get offers - it is normal. The players can decide what they want for their life, that is important."

The form of Ighalo and Deeney has meant Flores has stuck with the pair for the majority of games this season, however he believes the club are interested in recruiting another striker in case one of the current pair suffer an injury.

One name long linked with Watford has been former Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who is without a club.

While Flores admits he has looked at Adebayor and talks have taken place, he has expressed reservations over the 31-year-old Togolese player.

When asked if Watford were no longer interested in signing Adebayor, Flores said: "It is not true.

"We haven't taken the decision because until the last moment we will try to be right that the player is the player we need.

"Not just the player but the characteristics of the player because he is an amazing player but the characteristics of Adebayor, is it the necessities of the team?

"We need to check everything because we don't want players who expect to play every single day, every single match.

"We can't give that kind of circumstances to the players - I don't know if it is possible to solve in the next few days."

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