Watford boss Vladimir Ivic has addressed his stance on players that are linked with moves away from the club, such as West Bromwich Albion target Troy Deeney and the in-demand Ismaila Sarr.
The Hornets were relegated from the Premier League last season after a five-year spell in the top flight and there are a number of players that look as though they could be on the move before the transfer window closes next month.
Among those is club captain Deeney, who West Brom have been linked with a move for as Slaven Bilic’s side look to add to their forward line.
Sarr is another that looks as though he could be on the move, with reports today suggesting that Aston Villa are keen to hijack Liverpool’s deal for the player, thought to be worth upward of £32 million.
In his press conference ahead of the Hornet’s Carabao Cup tie against Newport County, Ivic was pressed on his stance on players that continued to be linked with other clubs.
He said: “At this moment I cannot count on them. That means from my first day here I am only thinking about players that are available to play.
“So what will happen before the end of the transfer window? Will they be with us or not? From the moment when I have a player that is ready to play for Watford FC, I start to count on them and I start thinking about him.
“If at the moment he is in another group because of different reasons I don’t count on him and I don’t think about him.”
Watford are unbeaten since returning to the Championship – beating Middlesbrough 1-0 on the opening weekend and drawing with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
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As strong as the squad he has available to him is, you can’t help but feeling some sympathy with Ivic given the number of players in his squad that seem as though they could be on the move over the next three weeks.
With that sort of thing going on, it must be difficult for the Watford boss to know who he can depend on.
He’s indicated here that those players that he feels are linked elsewhere and keen on a move won’t be featuring until the window’s shut.
A strong stance but you feel the right one.