Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores has admitted the club will struggle to keep the likes of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney at the club for the long term but insists it is "completely impossible" the duo will move away during the January transfer window despite rumours linking them with Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.
Ighalo has reportedly attracted the attention of United manager Louis van Gaal after scoring 14 Premier League goals in the first part of the campaign. The Nigerian striker added to the speculation during an interview with the Sun after admitting he would struggle to turn down such a move to Old Trafford. But Deeney later told Talksport that both himself and his strike partner will avoid rumours and stay at Watford at least until the end of the season as they "have still got a project to complete."
Flores has followed the same line in his press conference ahead of the FA Cup game against Newcastle United, assuring the duo will stay for now but showing his resignation over losing them in the future.
"I think it's completely impossible [Ighalo or Deeney leave the club in January]. Our target like a team is very clear. The confidence of these players is amazing. They are completely confident in themselves," he said as quoted by The Guardian. "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."
But asked about a potential move away in the summer, he admitted: "It's something you need to accept. 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 former Atletico Madrid manager also admitted the club have been considering a move for Emmanuel Adebayor but a final decision is yet to be made. Asked if they have already ruled out the ex-Tottenham striker, he 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."