Watford chief executive Scott Duxbury insists the Hornets will not sell star attacker Richarlison in the January transfer window amid interest from Tottenham Hotspur and and was keen to stress that Marco Silva's side will "never" part with anyone they deem to be useful during the middle of a campaign.
Richarlison has hit the ground running since arriving in Hertfordshire from Brazilian outfit Fluminense for around £11.5m in the summer, scoring five goals and providing three assists to help Watford enjoy a bright start to the new season under Silva.
The 20-year-old was linked with Chelsea and Manchester United before joining Watford, who managed to hijack Ajax's deal to bring him to England in August, and recent reports suggested that the Brazil youth international may be on the move again with Tottenham said to be monitoring his development.
But Duxbury, who has recently had to fend off interest in manager Silva from Everton, who will now be led by Sam Allardyce for the foreseeable future, insists Watford have no interest in parting with any of the stars that have served them so well this season and says that any players who depart the club in January will be ones that are surplus to requirements.
"We believe in the season being a race and that's why we will never sell a player in January who we believe will help us," Duxbury told the Evening Standard. "Nobody will be sold that we don't want to. None of the players making an impact now will go."
Duxbury's comments will come as a blow to Tottenham, who are in need of a player in Richarlison's mould and have been for some time. Recent reports claimed that Spurs were prepared to offer Georges-Kevin N'Koudou or Joshua Onomah in a part-exchange deal for the former America Mineiro starlet, but Watford are not in the mood to enter negotiations with Tottenham and have proven themselves to be a tough nut to crack in recent weeks if the saga involving Silva and Everton is anything to go by.
Richarlison has four-and-a-half years left on his current contract with Watford and will no doubt be looking to guide his side to victory over Tottenham this weekend after spurning a couple of good opportunities to score during the Hornets' 4-2 defeat by Manchester United on Tuesday (28 November).
Pochettino will have to try and stifle the player he wishes to have under his wing in the coming months, with Spurs in need of a positive result having won just one of their last five Premier League matches.