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Flores welcomes Ighalo to Arsenal rumours

Quique Sanchez Flores has welcomed rumours linking Odion Ighalo to Arsenal as proof of Watford's impressive performances this season.

The 26-year-old has scored 15 goals in the Premier League this term to help fire his side to within just four points of the top six with 12 matches left to play.

Manchester United and Arsenal have been subsequently linked with Ighalo, who also claimed to have turned down a big-money move to China - worth over £200,000 a week - before the start of the season.

"He is one of the best strikers in the division so [speculation] is very normal," Flores said on Thursday. "It's good.

"I love speculation for all the players in the squad. It means the performance of the team is good, every teams want players of Watford so we are doing something well and it's good news for our team."

Watford have taken 36 points from their first 26 matches and can take a big step towards their pre-season goal of 40 when they take on AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.

And Flores is eager to reach that mark as soon as possible in order to allow his players to play with less pressure, citing league leaders Leicester City as a prime example of the benefits of such positive morale.

"We are really close," he said. "I would like to get to the objective as quick as possible.

"Leicester is the example. They achieved 40 points and then they are freer on the pitch. They feel really, really positive and everything. This is ideal. We are really close."