Popular Watford midfielder Cristian Battocchio is on the verge of completing a loan move to Serie B side Virtus Entella.

Battocchio is hugely popular among supporters, players and staff at Watford but has not been included in a single Hornets squad this season, following the arrivals of Keith Andrews and Gianni Munari and the return to full fitness of Almen Abdi.

The likeable 22-year-old made 66 appearances for Watford during his first two years at the club, 43 of which were starts.

Battocchio has been linked with a move to Virtus Entella all summer and he was pictured at the club’s 1-0 defeat to Varese on Saturday.

The energetic midfielder has today posted a message on micro-blogging website Twitter saying:

He also included a video with some of his goals which ended with the message: “Thank you very much to every Watford fan and to my team-mates. Thanks.”

Battocchio joined the Golden Boys on loan from sister club Udinese in 2012 and made 16 starts and nine substitute outings during his first year in Hertfordshire, scoring twice.

He will always be remembered by many fans as the scorer of one of the club’s finest team goals, after he finished off a superb move during the 4-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in January 2013.

Battocchio’s importance increased during his second season at Watford, with Abdi out for most of the campaign. The Argentine-born Italy Under-21 international made 41 appearances, which included 27 starts and five goals.

The midfielder impressed during pre-season this summer but has been omitted from every squad.

Battocchio is expected to join Virtus Entella on a season-long loan but there has been no confirmation from either club.

Watch videos of Battocchio's time at Watford here.