Aston Villa are eyeing a double raid on Brentford to sign Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma, according to The Sun.
The Villans boss Dean Smith worked with the pair during his time managing the Bees and is keen to reunite with his former players.
Both could prove quite costly with the Bees adamant that Watkins doesn’t an £18 million release clause as has been widely reported.
Benrahma scored 17 goals and registered nine assists last season and he is thought to be valued at £20 million.
Villa survived by the skin of their teeth last season, securing their Premier League status with a 1-1 draw at West Ham on the last day.
Smith will want to ensure life is a lot more comfortable next time around and Watkins and Benrahma might help him do that.
Brentford were the darlings of the Championship to many neutral supporters last season, with their brand of high intensity, attacking football.
They were, however, beaten 2-1 in the Play-Off Final and now Thomas Frank could see his squad decimated.
Watkins will be one player who the Bees boss is particularly sad to lose, having compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo last year.
He told the Richmond and Twickenham Times: “It’s a big comparison so I don’t want to go down that route but, in a way, I’ve mentioned it now.
“He’s like a Ronaldo-type, that he can play as a nine or he can play to the side, or he can play as a 10, but because he’s so versatile he has abilities you can benefit off in all positions.”
TBR View – Benrahma and Watkins should delight Villa supporters
Last season, Villa went down the route of adding several players from various European leagues to their ranks.
Some worked and some failed miserably and poaching two of the Championship’s best players looks like a more positive approach.
Some cynics will argue that neither Benrahma or Watkins have played in the Prem.
Given that both players are 24 though, you’d back them to keep improving and offer upgrades on some of Villa’s current striking options.
Watkins, in particular, looks a really exciting talent. He scores goals, creates them and has proved at Brentford that he can play in a number of forward positions.