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The future of Watford midfielder Cristian Battocchio remains unclear despite consecutive starts
7:00am Sunday 19th January 2014 in Latest Sport
Cristian Battocchio’s immediate future remains unclear despite Beppe Sannino appearing to be a fan of the player; with the energetic Argentine starting the last two Watford matches.
Earlier this week Battocchio’s agent Claudio Vagheggi said he expected the 21-year-old to join Serie B side Padova on loan in “a matter of days” but the player started in yesterday’s match at Bournemouth.
The Hornets’ technical director Gian Luca Nani was quoted in Italy on Thursday as saying Alexander Merkel’s three-match suspension, which now has one game remaining, was a factor in the timing of when the player might go on loan and he also mentioned the club looking for other midfield replacements as another consideration.
Before yesterday’s match, sources had told us they still expected Battocchio to depart the club either next week or shortly afterwards.
But at Bournemouth, Lewis McGugan suffered a hamstring injury and fellow midfielder Iriney also went off with a problem, so that could impact on Watford’s decision regarding whether to allow Battocchio to depart – and if the answer is still yes, at what point he is allowed to go.
Beppe Sannino refuses to discuss the potential move in detail; reiterating that he is the head coach and technical director Gian Luca Nani looks after the recruitment side of the club.
Sannino was asked whether he wanted to keep Battocchio as part of his squad after yesterday’s match – as his recent selections have indicated.
The head coach answered: “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.”
When asked if Battocchio’s future could be influenced by McGugan’s injury, Sannino replied: “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.
“I am very happy with today; to have so many supporters in the stadium. It was fantastic for me.”
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