The Watford Observer can confirm that Luke Dowling will be the man to replace Gian Luca Nani at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets have been lining up a replacement for Nani for a while and the Italian handed in his resignation today – less than 24 hours after the transfer window shut.

Sky Sports reported late tonight that Dowling is “in line” to replace Nani and we can confirm that is the case and an agreement is already in place.

Dowling is said to have had spells at Tottenham Hotspur and Reading as a player whilst a youngster before dropping down to non-league.

He retired at the age of 28 due to a knee injury and was given his chance in management by ex-West Ham United centre back Tony Gale.

Gale was director of football at Ryman Division One South side Walton Casuals, who are based in Surrey, and hired Dowling as manager.

He began scouting for Charlton Athletic before being given a job at Wimbledon, where he worked for 18 months from 2009.

Dowling moved to Crystal Palace and spent 20 months there as a scout before linking up with Michael Appleton at Portsmouth as head of recruitment for seven months, before he reunited with Appleton at Blackburn Rovers in a similar role. Both were sacked after a couple of months at the club.

The Yorkshire Evening Post claimed Dowling was close to being appointed chief scout in 2013 but couldn’t because of a severance dispute with Blackburn.

The paper also stated Dowling was working closely with new Leeds owner Massimo Cellino during the Italian’s takeover and was expected to be officially appointed into a role this summer. However, reports claim Dowling turned down the job of sporting director at the club in June.

Below is a video interview with Dowling made by the Daily Mail online in 2013. You can read the accompanying interview with him here.