Emery anxious as Chelsea join Arsenal in pursuit of key Aston Villa player; he could solve big Blues issue

Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz celebrate an Aston Villa goal

Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz celebrate an Aston Villa goal

Chelsea are considering a move for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins when the transfer window re-opens in January, according to reports.

Despite spending ridiculous sums of money again this summer, the Blues are looking light in the striker department.

New signing Christopher Nkunku is facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after he picked up a serious knee injury, while Armando Broja has been unavailable since December last year.

This leaves Mauricio Pochettino with only one natural centre-forward option at his disposal – Nicolas Jackson – who has netted one goal in four Premier League appearances so far.

Scoring goals was a real problem for Chelsea last season, too, as they only netted 38 goals overall in the Premier League. This was ultimately the key reason why they finished in 12th place in the table.

With that in mind, Chelsea could certainly do with bringing in some more quality competition for Jackson in January, and it seems that Pochettino has one eye on Watkins as a potential option.

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Chelsea set their sights on Watkins

According to journalist Simon Phillips, who was was discussing Chelsea’s transfer targets on his podcast Si Phillips Talks Chelsea (via Football 365), the Blues are seriously considering a move for Watkins in January.

Phillips said: “Dusan Vlahovic was obviously looked at in the summer. He’s still there. Jonathan David from Lille. And the last one is Ollie Watkins from Aston Villa.”

Watkins scored an impressive 15 goals in 37 Premier League appearances  for Aston Villa and was arguably their most important player as they secured a seventh-place finish – qualifying for Europe for the first time since 2010.

His excellent performances have caught the attention of several top teams. As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Arsenal have registered an interest in Watkins, along with Newcastle and Tottenham.

Villa boss Unai Emery is, understandably, desperate to keep hold of the England international for as long as possible. However, despite Watkins being in talks over signing a new contract with the Villains for some time, they are yet to reach an agreement. His current deal runs out in 2025.

A sizeable transfer fee could tempt Aston Villa into selling Watkins sooner rather than later. Reports suggest that the Midlands club would demand a fee in the region of £50m-£60m for him.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if Chelsea test the Villains’ resolve with a concrete bid for Watkins in January.

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