sport

Battocchio future uncertain

Watford are yet to take a decision on the future of Cristian Battocchio, with it possible that loan plans will be shelved.

The 21-year-old was expected to head out of Vicarage Road in January, with his agent claiming that a deal with Serie B outfit Padova was 'a matter of days' away.

Hornets coach Beppe Sannino is, however, a fan of the young midfielder and has started him in Watford's last two Championship fixtures.

He has seen Alexander Merkel hit with a three-match ban and Lewis McGugan pick up an untimely knock, leaving him short of options in the middle of the park.

That would suggest that Battocchio's services will be retained, but Sannino remained non-committal on the subject when quizzed after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.

He told the Watford Observer: "I told you that if Battocchio is here and a Watford player then I will use all of the players available to me.

"I know we are in the transfer window but that is not my job. My job is to pick the players and be head coach. I will see what happens.

"What is important is that you agree with me that Cristian Battocchio played very well today."

Sannino added when asked if McGugan's injury will influence any decision: "McGugan picked up an injury and so did Iriney. Tomorrow is their day off and on Monday we will assess the injured players and the situation in general. Plus the club are doing their own assessments.

"I think the club's supporters need that kind of pride (shown against Bournemouth) from us and the club are aware of the situation and on Monday we will discuss it."