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Abdoulaye Doucoure heading for Watford exit already

Watford will look to loan out or sell out of favour midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure in January, we understand.

The leggy Frenchman, who stood out in Granada’s successful fight against relegation, has not found favour under Walter Mazzarri, making just two Premier League squads and playing a total of just six minutes against Chelsea in the second game of the season.

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We understand Mazzarri just does not fancy the signing from Rennes for tactical and technical reasons and made the judgment on the basis of what he saw in pre-season. He hooked him at half-time against QPR and has only started him against Gillingham since. Indeed the player would currently be playing for Lorient had the paperwork been finalised before the summer window closed.

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The club will, between now and the turn of the year, actively seek suitors who want to take the player temporarily or even on a permanent basis. There is no point, they figure, paying the wages, for another six months, of a player who the head coach does not see figuring in his plans. The player cost €6m but the club should get a fair chunk back as he’s contracted until 2020 and is 23 years old.

The departure of Doucoure would also free up a foreign player slot in the Premier League squad, creating room for Brice Dje Djedje or another new face. Watford, remember, only named a 22-man squad but did register the maximum number of foreign players (17).

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The fact the move for Doucoure hasn’t worked out will reaffirm the club’s belief that January is not the best time to do incoming transfer business – and they are therefore expected to do minimal business in this winter window, waiting until next summer to significantly strengthen the spine of the team.

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Watford did deals for Costel Pantilimon, Mario Suarez, Nordin Amrabat, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Adalberto Penaranda in January and, excluding Pantilimon who was signed as a back-up keeper and Penaranda, who is one for the future, the deals for Suarez and Doucoure have been unsuccessful while Amrabat was on his way out before his unexpected emergence as a right wing-back.