Watford’s head coach Beppe Sannino refused to confirm that Mathias Ranegie and Alexander Merkel were in the directors’ box at Vicarage Road this afternoon ahead of moves to the club.

The Udinese duo have long been linked with a move to the Hertfordshire club and they were both pictured in the Upper Rous Stand today during the 0-0 draw with Queens Park Rangers.

But when Sannino was asked to confirm that Ranegie and Merkel were in the directors’ box, he replied: “This is not time to talk about this. Club staff will speak about the market window when the market window opens.”

When he was pressed on the matter further, and asked if the pair were currently training with the rest of the Hornets players, Sannino said: “I think they could train from January 1.”

Merkel signed for fellow Pozzo-owed club Udinese in January but only made six outings last season and has yet to feature during the current campaign – although he has been an unused substitute on several occasions.

The 21-year-old joined AC Milan from Stuttgart as a teenager and made his debut at the age of 18, featuring ten times during the 2010/11 season.

Genoa bought 50 per cent of the player in 2011 and he made 16 appearances for the Serie A club before he rejoined Milan on loan.

However, he only made one outing before he had a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Merkel played for Genoa six times in the first half of last season before he signed for Udinese in January.

Merkel is Kazakhstan-born but has represented Germany throughout the youth age groups up until the Under-20s level.

Watford Observer: Alexander Merkel's agent has said the player could be open to a move to Watford in January. Picture: Action Images

Ranegie is a striker who is 6ft 5’ tall and has represented Sweden on three occasions in the past.

The 29-year-old has made four appearances for Udinese this campaign and played 26 times last season, scoring one goal.

He was a latecomer to professional football and after a largely unsuccessful spell at IFK Göteborg, made a name for himself at BK Häcken, where he scored 36 goals in 81 appearances.

Malmo signed him in 2011 and 13 goals in 26 games persuaded Udinese to sign the player in August last summer.