Cristian Battocchio is in contention for Bournemouth despite agent claiming Watford departure is imminent

Battocchio in contention for Bournemouth despite possible loan move

Cristian Battocchio's agent claims the player is set to leave Watford on loan. Picture: Holly Cant

Derek Boateng has held talks with Watford but a deal is unlikely to be completed in time for Saturday. Picture: Action Images

First published in Latest Sport This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

Cristian Battocchio is in contention for tomorrow’s (Saturday’s) match with Bournemouth despite his agent claiming the midfielder is on the verge of leaving the club on loan.

And it seems highly unlikely that a potential deal for Fulham’s Derek Boateng will be complete in time for the Ghana international to feature on the south coast.

Watford have allowed four players to leave the club either on loan or permanently in the last week and Battocchio looks set to become the fifth.

The midfielder has been linked with a return to Italy in the past week and on Wednesday his agent claimed the 21-year-old was bound for Serie B strugglers Padova.

Claudio Vagheggi was quoted by Padovasport.tv as saying Battocchio would be joining Padova in “a matter of days”.

The deal has not been officially formalised but his agent claims Battocchio has rejected other clubs in favour of joining the Serie B strugglers.

Earlier in the week, Sannino claimed he was “deaf” to the reports Battocchio is leaving and this afternoon insisted the player is in contention to face Bournemouth on Saturday.

Sannino said: “He has been training, I am happy with him and as long as the players are here, then they are in consideration for selection.”

Battocchio has been in the 18-man match-day squad for all of the Hornets’ games this season except for one and three-quarters of Watford Observer readers said they did not want Battocchio to leave the club on loan, as part of an online ballot.

The Argentine-born midfielder has made 11 starts and nine substitute appearances this season, being an unused sub on eight occasions.

However, the Italy Under-21 international has been behind Lewis McGugan and Sean Murray in the pecking order for most of this season and last season’s Watford Observer Player of the Year, Almen Abdi, returned to action in midweek after missing most of the current campaign through injury.

The club also have the option of playing new signing Alexander Merkel further forward once he returns from suspension, with the club planning to sign another holding midfielder.

That man looked likely to be Fulham midfielder Boateng earlier this week.

The 30-year-old has held talks with Watford about a loan move until the end of the season and he says the Golden Boys have assured him of regular game time as he tries to earn a place in Ghana’s World Cup squad.

Boateng told Football411.com: “I was saddened with his (Martin Jol’s) departure [from Fulham] and that was when I realised that I have to move on in search of more playing time, and I have been assured of that at Watford so that is what I want to do.”

He added: “Most of the Ghanaian players are moving from one club to the other to get enough playing time to cement a place in the World Cup squad and I am no exception. I want to go to the World Cup and I cannot do that by warming the bench at Fulham.”

However, Boateng has yet to link up with the squad and Sannino joked: “I have never seen him; I have never met him. If he came here, then I would shake his hand and introduce myself.”

Sannino explained: “You know how Watford is structured; I am focused on the football side and there is a technical director (Gian Luca Nani) who looks at the transfer market.

“Imagine if I was involved with the transfer side; I would use all my energy on it, so I am always looking at the players who are training for me and we have a game on Saturday that I am focused on.”

Boateng has spent the last 14 years playing in Europe, having started his career at Kalamata in Greece as a 16-year-old. Fulham were Boateng’s tenth club, with Panathinaikos, FC Koln, Getafe and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk among his old sides.

Boateng is a powerful, ball-winning midfielder who has more than 45 caps for Ghana and has been a member of their squad for both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

However, he has made just four starts and one substitute appearance for the Craven Cottage side since joining on a free transfer in the summer.

Watford have seen three players leave the club on loan in the last week and another depart permanently.

Javier Acuna’s loan move to La Liga club Osasuna was confirmed on Saturday morning, Uche Ikpeazu has joined League 1 Crewe Alexandra until the end of the season and fellow first-year professional Bernard Mensah has linked up with Conference side Braintree Town until February 16.

The Hornets also allowed Adam Thompson to join Southend United on a free transfer on Thursday of last week.

Comments (7)

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5:41pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Hampshire hornet says...

yawn .. give us facts not speculation
yawn .. give us facts not speculation Hampshire hornet
  • Score: -1

7:01pm Thu 16 Jan 14

WFC FANMAN says...

This QPR player samba diakite could be on his way to vicarage road http://www1.skysport
s.com/transfer/news/
12691/9118995/transf
er-news-watford-in-t
alks-with-samba-diak
ite-over-loan-move-f
rom-qpr
This QPR player samba diakite could be on his way to vicarage road http://www1.skysport s.com/transfer/news/ 12691/9118995/transf er-news-watford-in-t alks-with-samba-diak ite-over-loan-move-f rom-qpr WFC FANMAN
  • Score: -3

7:11pm Thu 16 Jan 14

AngelHornet says...

So if we get Diakite, does it mean Boateng isn't coming after all?
So if we get Diakite, does it mean Boateng isn't coming after all? AngelHornet
  • Score: -1

7:44pm Thu 16 Jan 14

croxley46 says...

WFC FANMAN wrote:
This QPR player samba diakite could be on his way to vicarage road http://www1.skysport

s.com/transfer/news/

12691/9118995/transf

er-news-watford-in-t

alks-with-samba-diak

ite-over-loan-move-f

rom-qpr
Anybody else think Diakite is Lloyd Doyley's twin brother?!
[quote][p][bold]WFC FANMAN[/bold] wrote: This QPR player samba diakite could be on his way to vicarage road http://www1.skysport s.com/transfer/news/ 12691/9118995/transf er-news-watford-in-t alks-with-samba-diak ite-over-loan-move-f rom-qpr[/p][/quote]Anybody else think Diakite is Lloyd Doyley's twin brother?! croxley46
  • Score: -2

8:32pm Thu 16 Jan 14

WFC FANMAN says...

AngelHornet wrote:
So if we get Diakite, does it mean Boateng isn't coming after all?
I think deal was stalled that's why I think where after diakite
[quote][p][bold]AngelHornet[/bold] wrote: So if we get Diakite, does it mean Boateng isn't coming after all?[/p][/quote]I think deal was stalled that's why I think where after diakite WFC FANMAN
  • Score: -3

7:49am Fri 17 Jan 14

Essex Hornet says...

I'd be really sorry to see Cristian go either on loan or permanently. He moves the ball quickly, has a great engine and is well liked by the supporters. Not sure why the transfer focus is on the midfield when we're crying out for another striker.
I'd be really sorry to see Cristian go either on loan or permanently. He moves the ball quickly, has a great engine and is well liked by the supporters. Not sure why the transfer focus is on the midfield when we're crying out for another striker. Essex Hornet
  • Score: 6

8:39am Fri 17 Jan 14

Surbiton says...

Essex Hornet wrote:
I'd be really sorry to see Cristian go either on loan or permanently. He moves the ball quickly, has a great engine and is well liked by the supporters. Not sure why the transfer focus is on the midfield when we're crying out for another striker.
It seems the focus is still on getting a holding midfielder. Battochio is not one of those. However, I would rather see Sean go out on loan for a while as he needs to up his game. At the very least Battochio is a good impact player and if he leaves on loan I don't think that we will see him again.
[quote][p][bold]Essex Hornet[/bold] wrote: I'd be really sorry to see Cristian go either on loan or permanently. He moves the ball quickly, has a great engine and is well liked by the supporters. Not sure why the transfer focus is on the midfield when we're crying out for another striker.[/p][/quote]It seems the focus is still on getting a holding midfielder. Battochio is not one of those. However, I would rather see Sean go out on loan for a while as he needs to up his game. At the very least Battochio is a good impact player and if he leaves on loan I don't think that we will see him again. Surbiton
  • Score: 3

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