Javi Gracia insists Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure was not distracted by late bids from Everton, ahead of the two sides meeting this afternoon.

The Toffees made two offers for the Frenchman, both of which were swiftly rejected by the Hornets and it is believed that the player had no intention of leaving for any club that couldn't offer him European football.

However, following an uncharacteristically sloppy display against Brighton on the opening day of the season, Gracia defended Doucoure and insisted he is focused on his job at Vicarage Road.

"I think Doucoure was really focused on the game, " said Gracia.

"This week again he's trying to play at his best level and trying to help the team - I don't think there's anything different in his mind.

"I think he needs to work hard, but there was nothing different than in any other game. I can't feel anything different."

Gracia spoke about the timing of the bids from Everton for the player they ultimately failed to acquire and said sometimes the transfer window only presents opportunities at a late stage.

However, he admitted he was pleased to have acquired Danny Welbeck ahead of the Toffees, who were also reported to have tried to sign the England striker.

"Yeah, I listened to something about that," said Gracia about Welbeck's potential move to Goodison Park.

"I don't pay attention. He's with us and I'm happy for him. 

"You can see from the first day, the way he works, the way he finishes, the way he touches the ball, you can see his quality from the first moment.

"It happens the same in all the countries. I listen now to the movements in Spain and they're waiting for the last moments. Sometimes you don't decide the moment you can sign players, sometimes it's the market."