Could Watford beat Leeds to Leonardo Pavoletti if he agrees Udinese transfer?

Leonardo Pavoletti has been linked with a transfer to Championship side Leeds United.

The Sassuolo forward has been linked with a switch to Elland Road by the Yorkshire Evening Post in the past, but there is no indication that talks have progressed between the striker and the club.

With Leeds delaying on a potential deal, Serie A club Udinese have been linked with a move for their rival club’s forward, and their sporting director Cristiano Giaretta confirmed to Mondo Udinese that Pavoletti was on their radar.

The 26-year-old forward has struggled for time in the Sassuolo line-up this season, and, although Zebrette are struggling in the Italian top flight, it is hard to see the former Varese man getting into the starting XI. Antonio Di Natale and Cyril Thereau have feature frequently as a front two, and Udinese securing Pavoletti’s signature could actually be to strengthen one of Leeds’ Championship rivals - Watford.

With the co-ownership of Udinese and Watford, any signings made by the Italian club could theoretically be set to head to Hertfordshire to help guide the Hornets into the Premier League. Although sitting in sixth place in the Championship table, Watford have yet to properly impress, and it is likely that they will struggle to secure a play-off place if their poor form continues. Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra have 16 league goals between them, although they do not look like the clinical strike partnership they were in the 2012/13 season when they first played together.

There are distinct weaknesses in the Hornets squad, and signing a consistent goalscorer could help them overcome some of those weaknesses. Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo also has five strikes to his name, but there is something missing in the final third of the pitch, something Pavoletti could provide.

Considering the Whites long-standing interest in the forward, it would deal them a huge blow if Pavoletti was to end up in Hertfordhisre rather than Yorkshire come the end of the transfer window. But, with Udinese showing a firm interest, and Watford more likely to win promotion that Leeds, the 26-year-old could just end up turning out for the Hornets for the second half of the season.

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