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‘Watford wouldn’t sell Ighalo in January’ says agent

One of Odion Ighalo’s representatives says interest in the Watford striker remains strong but that Watford continue to stand firm over last season’s top-scorer.

We know the club turned down a £30m-plus offer from Manchester United for the striker in January and that Shanghai SIPG tested their resolve in the summer with a £38m bid. It is unclear if the club or the player rejected the offer from China. Now Napoli, with the money from the sale of Gonzalo Higuain burning a hole in their pocket, are reported to be monitoring his situation.

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“I doubt he can leave in January, since he’s too important for Hornets,” agent Patrick Bastianell told Italian radio station Radio Marte. “He made a great ride during last two season, by scoring 36 goals overall. Last summer also Chelsea and Manchester United wanted to sign him, but Watford weren’t even available to start a negotiation. Anyway, he’s got a second EU passport, and we’ll see what happens. Watford and the Pozzo family has excellent relations with Napoli, but according to their corporate policies, it’s difficult to sell important players in the winter transfer market.”

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Giampaolo Pozzo has done plenty of business with Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis. Allan moved to Napoli last summer in a deal that took Miguel Britos to Watford while Udinese sold Piotr Zielinski to Napoli this summer for £11.9m. Gino Pozzo also convinced De Laurentiis to loan him Juan Zuniga.