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Doucoure won't make deadline day move despite talk of Chelsea interest

17:47 GMT+3 31/01/2019
Abdoulaye Doucoure Watford 2018
The Watford midfielder, who is currently nursing a knock, has generated plenty of transfer talk in recent weeks

Abdoulaye Doucoure will not be allowed to leave Watford on deadline day, Goal understands, despite seeing Chelsea credited with joining the clamour for his signature.

The 26-year-old midfielder has won a host of admirers over the course of a productive spell at Vicarage Road.

His reputation has risen considerably on the back of a 2016 move from Rennes.

Doucoure has been a regular for the Hornets throughout his time in England, and has been a model of consistency.

His destructive qualities in the middle of the park are considered to make him a perfect fit for the challenges posed by Premier League football.

That ability has been showcased on plenty of occasions and plaudits have rained down on the Frenchman as a result.

Such interest in his displays has inevitably led to transfer talk being sparked.

Watford legend Tommy Smith has suggested that Doucoure could be the subject of a £50 million ($63m) move to Paris Saint-Germain at some stage.

Paul Merson, meanwhile, claims that a proven performer would have been a better option for Arsenal than Lucas Torreira.

He told Sky Sports: He added: “They should sign Abdoulaye Doucoure at Watford - he'd walk into the team.

“I'd take him tomorrow morning. He's a much better player than Torreira and he scores goals.

“He's one of the most under-rated players in the Premier League - he could play for any of the top six.

“It seems no-one pays attention to him because he plays for Watford and fans will say, 'Why are we buying him, he's at Watford?' - but he's a proper player.”

Chelsea are the latest side to have been linked with a possible move for Doucoure, with various reports suggesting that a deadline day bid would be tabled.

It is, however, understood that Watford will not be listening to any offers for a key part of their plans.

Instead, they are focused on returning an important player to full fitness.

Despite all the interest surrounding the Frenchman, Javi Gracia confirmed earlier in the week that Doucoure is doubtful for a trip to Brighton on Saturday.

“I don't think so,” he said, when quizzed on whether Doucoure could figure against the Seagulls.

“I want him to recover as soon as possible as he is an important player for us. He will be ready soon but in this moment, I don't know when.”