Cristian Battocchio will not be leaving the Hornets on loan during the January transfer window, the Watford Observer understands.

Battocchio looked set for a loan move to Serie B side Padova last week, with his agent Claudio Vagheggi claiming a deal could be concluded in "a matter of days".

However, we understand Battocchio will not be leaving the club during this loan window as head coach Beppe Sannino is keen to retain the player, who has started in Watford's last two matches.

The Golden Boys are still trying to sign a defensive midfielder but Battocchio's importance to the club has increased further following injuries to Lewis McGugan and Iriney at the weekend.

The Hornets hierarchy were open to letting Battocchio leave prior to Saturday's match with Bournemouth but we understand Sannino has since expressed a clear desire for the player to remain.

The Italy Under-21 international, who was born in Argentina, has made 12 starts and nine substitute appearances for Watford this season in all competitions.

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