West Brom boss Tony Pulis has admitted that any possible move for Troy Deeney would probably end in failure.
The Baggies chief stopped short of denying interest in the striker but conceded Watford will want to keep their captain.
“I don’t think they’d want to sell him anyway,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of time for Troy, he’s come through the lower leagues and it’s brilliant to see him in the Premier League. But he’s a Watford player, and I’ll show Watford respect.
“He didn’t play on Saturday (a 1-0 win over Sunderland) and they won and played very well. He has been a big influence at that football club and he has been a talisman over the last few years.”
Tony Pulis insisted he has been impressed with the way Deeney has grown up since he was jailed in 2012, serving three months, following a fight in Birmingham.
He added: “There’s lots of examples in football. A lot of these lads are working class lads, things have happened in early life, they’ve grown up, that’s what growing up is about; becoming more mature, more focused and Troy has certainly done that. He’s had a smashing career and fair play to him.”