Aston Villa are set to hold ‘showdown talks’ with Brentford next week, ahead of the potential £25 million signing of Ollie Watkins.
Watkins, 24, had a prolific season in the Championship – in his new no.9 position he managed to scored 26 goals across all 46 league games last season, and in all three play-off matches.
But Brentford fell short to Fulham in the final and now, as expected, they look set to lose some of their star players to Premier League suitors.
Watkins has been linked with a number of clubs – both Leeds United and Leicester City have weighed up the move, with Newcastle United also showing an interest.
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But Aston Villa are emerging as the favourites to sign the Englishman, who is said to be keen on reuniting with ex-Brentford boss Dean Smith at Villa Park.
Villa then are set to ‘ramp up’ negotiations this week, according to Birmingham Mail. The striker is expected to cost upwards of £25 million, and Villa are reportedly keen to land a marquee signing in time for the September 12 start date for the 2020/21 season.
If Villa can fend off the likes of Leeds and Leicester to sign Watkins, it would be a huge plus for the club. An English player on the back of an astounding season in the Championship – if Villa could sign him then it would be a huge statement of intent from Smith and Villa.
A player like Watkins as well could well tempt the likes of Jack Grealish to remain at the club and building on that, Villa could yet find themselves pushing for a mid-table, even European finish if they can get a few more deals over the line this month.