Watford boss 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 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 like 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.
He has stated he will remain at the club and has no intention of leaving while Ighalo, who has scored 14 league goals so far this campaign, is likely to have caught the eye of several clubs with his form.
While insisting that neither striker will be sold in January, Flores did admit they may look to move on in the summer.
“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.”
Ighalo has been capped seven times by Nigeria but Deeney has yet to be called up into the senior England set-up.
Flores believes the former Walsall man is good enough for Roy Hodgson’s squad and is proving that at Watford.
He said: “Maybe the next step for Deeney is not thinking about going out to another team, the next step for him should be to look at the national team. Why not?
“The case of Jamie Vardy at Leicester. He has got into the national team because finally the coach values the performance and quality of the players.”
The form of both 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.