Aston Villa are still hoping to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford before the transfer window closes, despite the Bees wanting £28 million for their prolific forward.
According to The Telegraph, the Villans want to add Watkins and Callum Wilson to their ranks, with Nottingham Forest star Matty Cash, set to become the club’s first summer recruit.
It perhaps represents a change in strategy for Villa who attacked the European market during last summer following promotion to the Premier League.
It would seem that Dean Smith is keen to add young, British talent to his ranks this time around as he aims to climb the table this season.
Watkins, 24, enjoyed a season to remember for the Bees during 2019/20, scoring 26 times in all competitions and registering three assists.
He was transformed into a centre-forward by boss Thomas Frank last season, having previously spent the majority of his time out on the flank.
Villa would likely sign Watkins to do a mixture of play through the middle and function out wide, with Smith’s team somewhat short of firepower last season.
Wesley missed a lot of the campaign through injury, whilst Mbwana Samatta didn’t really do enough to suggest he can lead the line again this season.
The valuation of £28 million does seem like an awful lot but Watkins could prove to be a very decent signing for Villa if they could pull it off.
The Championship ace probably wouldn’t command an awful lot in wages, whilst Watkins would come with a decent amount of sell-on value given his age.
Bees boss Frank would be gutted to lose Watkins and has previously compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo – although not in a like-for-like way.
He told Richmond and Twickenham Times back in August 2019: “It’s a big comparison 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 as a No.10. He’s just so versatile.”