Former Aston Villa player Alan Hutton is expecting Villa to secure a transfer agreement for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins this summer.
The Bees frontman is one of the most sought after players in the EFL this summer, after a sensational 2019/20 campaign where he fired in 26 league goals to get the west London club to the Championship final.
Thomas Frank’s men went on to lose the final against Fulham, and as expected, interest has grown considerably in a number of their stars over the last few weeks, notably Watkins, Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo.
Brentford recently secured the signing of Peterborough frontman Ivan Toney who enjoyed a prolific campaign in League One last term, and it’s looking likely he will be a replacement for Watkins whose departure now looks inevitable.
According to an update by journalist John Percy in The Telegraph, via @villareport, Brentford want £28m for striker Ollie Watkins, and talks between the Villans and Brentford are ongoing.
Speaking to Football Insider, former Villa man Alan Hutton is confident a deal can be struck: “The Ivan Toney transfer, I presumed that would leave the door open to really get the ball rolling.
“It still seems like they’re haggling over the price tag. Villa want to pay £18 million, Brentford want £25 million. Hopefully they can meet somewhere in the middle.
“I think this will get done at some stage, it’s just as soon as they can thrash out the little bit of money they’re toing and froing over.
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“Again, he’s another young, exciting, talented player. This is what Villa need, this is what they’re missing. I really think this year they’re going for the right kind of player.”
£28m is a lot of money for Watkins, there is no denying that.
However, he is a top class player who has no ceiling with regards to his potential so you can see why Brentford are driving a hard bargain here.
I firmly expect Brentford to offload Watkins this summer and Villa looks the perfect move for all parties, but the fee will surely need to be lowered somewhat for a deal to be struck here.