Watford coach, Claudio Ranieri has said the ongoing dispute with Nigeria over Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Dennis is over after the country accused the Premier League club of ‘threatening’ the striker to prevent him travelling for the Africa Cup of Nations.
On New Year's Eve, Nigeria confirmed that Watford top scorer Dennis had been ‘excused’ from their squad having been included originally, claiming his club had been ‘baring fangs’ to force his withdrawal.
Ranieri revealed midweek that Nigeria missed a deadline to inform Watford of their intention to select Dennis for the tournament and that administration error gave them scope to reject his call-up.
Super Eagles interim manager Augustine Eguavoen said, "We tried to reach out to the club but the club was like: “No, we will not allow Dennis to go.
"Dennis also told me that his club had done everything humanly possible for him not be at the AFCON.
"I can’t force it, I reported the matter to the authority and they also tried. That was why we had to wait until the last second before we pushed the button.
"Dennis said he wants to come but the club are threatening him, let me use the word, threatening him.
"What do we do if a player does not want to come? What are you going to do? We have to play with what we have."
Following Watford’s 1-0 defeat by Tottenham on Saturday, Ranieri responded to Eguavoen’s allegations, saying, "I think Nigeria have to speak to the [Watford] board and not the manager. I am the manager, the player stays here, I’m happy and for me, it is finished."