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Ex-Man United striker and Barca youth team captain fail to cut it at Watford

Watford have opted not to offer contracts to Federico Macheda or Godswill Ekpolo following trial periods.

The former Manchester United forward and the Barcelona youth team captain first played for Harry Kewell’s under-23 team against Hull, with Macheda making the perfect start by scoring. Macheda, who had his contract at Cardiff City cancelled by mutual consent in August, then scored again in the next game, the 2-2 draw Sheffield United at Vicarage Road, but that has not been enough to earn the 25-year-old, or his fellow trialist, a permanent deal at Vicarage Road.

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Both players could have been signed deals outside the transfer window as they are free agents but could not have been registered in the club’s Premier League squad which is locked down until the end of January.

Ekpolo, at 21, was more likely to earn a deal than Macheda, who is 25 and could be seen to be blocking the path of young professional strikers Michael Folivi, Ogo Obi and Alex Jakubiak. But Ekpolo is a right-back and not only does Walter Mazzarri not play with conventional full-backs, the Hornets have two young right-backs on their books in David Sesay and Andrew Eleftheriou.