Doucoure interest a plus point for Mariappa

Transfers
Adrian Mariappa says the Watford squad can be encouraged by the ongoing interest being shown in Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Adrian Mariappa says the Watford squad can be encouraged by the ongoing interest being shown in Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The midfielder has been regularly linked with Paris Saint-Germain in the last two transfer windows and the French champions are believed to have approached the Hornets about the possibility of a £50m move in January.

Doucoure was born in Meulan-en-Yvelines, 40km or so from the Parc des Princes, and has himself suggested he would be open to joining PSG should the opportunity arise.

Team-mate Mariappa says he recognises why the 26-year-old has been linked with the French champions but says the club should not feel under pressure to sell.

In contrast, he would like them to take the positives from the speculation, insisting that the news proves the team are heading in the right direction.

‘Look, we want to keep all our best players,’ Mariappa told the Evening Standard.

‘It is a good thing to have players linked with moves, it means they are doing well.

‘As a group, we are close and we pull together well.

He is a big part of that, so we are delighted to keep him.’

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