Walter Mazzarri has brushed aside Odion Ighalo’s future despite West Brom holding talks over signing the Watford striker.
The Baggies wanted to land the Nigerian international last summer and have renewed their interest this month.
West Brom boss Tony Pulis is known to be keen on Ighalo and has made him a key target in the transfer window.
But the Watford Observer understands talks are at a very early stage and no deal is imminent. It is expected any move could drag on until the end of the month.
Ighalo’s form has nosedived in the last year with just two goals this season and he has failed to score since September’s win at West Ham United.
Mazzarri was asked about the striker’s future this afternoon but the Hornets head coach was not prepared to discuss this ahead of the trip to Bournemouth.
The Italian said: “I would like that, when we have the game which we have in a couple of days, we speak as little as possible about the transfer market. In this moment Odion Ighalo is a player that will travel with the team for this weekend.
“I also wouldn’t want the transfer market to distract my players. At this moment they have to be focused only on the colours of the Watford shirt.”
Ighalo turned down a £38m move to Shanghai SIPG last summer and has again been linked with a move to China this month.
From a Watford perspective, the chance to sell the 27-year-old before his value plummets even further has to appeal.
But the Hornets would need to bring in a replacement, with Mauro Zarate interesting them this week, which is another factor which could prolong this transfer.