10 Mar Javi Gracia unsure whether Abdoulaye Doucoure will commit to Watford
Watford boss Javi Gracia does not know whether Abdoulaye Doucoure will stay at the club beyond the end of the season.
The 25-year-old has been an impressive performer this term for the Hornets, who are keen to tie him down to a new deal and have begun discussions.
But with Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham reported to be interesting in signing the French midfielder, Gracia does not know what the future holds.
“I don’t know, I don’t know what happens in the future, whether he will sign a new contract or stay with us a long time, I don’t know,” the Spaniard said.
“I think he is very happy with the team, the supporters, the club, the city. I think he is very happy.
“I would like Doucoure to stay with us more time.”
Doucoure has scored seven goals in 30 appearances for Watford this season, but Gracia believes there is more to come.
“He is a very good player and he can do better,” the Hornets boss added.
“I have tried to explain to him many things that he can improve but at this moment, this season, he is a very good player.
“He has a very good attitude and helps the team all of the time with a good mentality and attitude.”
Doucoure is almost certain to be in the line-up that takes on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Though the game is not classed as a derby, there is an element of local rivalry as the two sides’ training grounds are adjacent to each other at London Colney.
Despite the proximity to the Gunners, Gracia has never met this weekend’s opposite number Arsene Wenger.
“We are good neighbours and if they need something, sugar, salt, we help them – we have a very good relationship!” Gracia said.
“It will be my first time with him, I am happy to meet him.”
Gracia reckons no manager will be able to repeat the longevity of the Frenchman, who has been Arsenal boss since 1996.
“It’s not possible to stay in a club for more than five or six years, it’s very difficult,” he added.
“The people want results quickly and the clubs change players and managers. It is not possible to stay that long any more.”