Aston Villa are expected to make their first bid for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins in the coming days, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Watkins is a man in demand after an impressive season for the Bees in the Championship. His 25 league goals helped them reach the play-off final, however they missed out on promotion after losing 2-1 to Fulham at Wembley.
That loss activated a clause in Watkins’ contract that means he is now available for £18million. And Villa will reportedly match that figure when their impending offer is lodged.
However, it is unclear whether that will be enough for Brentford to accept. The London club are hoping to receive £25million for one of their star players.
One thing Villa do have going in their favour is Watkins’ eagerness to play under Dean Smith, who he has worked with previously.
Smith was the man who took Watkins to Brentford back in July 2017. The forward scored 11 goals and created five more in his one campaign under the guidance of the Birmingham-born manager.
And a reunion could now be on the cards should Brentford accept Villa’s offer for the 24-year-old forward.
The development may also spark movement from Leeds United and Crystal Palace, who are also eyeing up a swoop for Watkins.
Striker a priority for Villa
Regardless of Brentford’s response to the bid, a new front man is likely to arrive at Villa Park this summer.
The Villains’ strikers scored just six Premier League goals between them last term as they narrowly avoided relegation.
It fell to captain Jack Grealish to produce the goods, with the midfielder netting eight goals and assisting a further six.
Therefore, Smith is hoping to bring in a goalscorer as he prepares for the start of the new season. As well as Watkins, Liverpool’s Divock Origi and Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica are also being considered.
Read more about Villa’s striker target shortlist here…