West Bromwich Albion have reportedly expressed an interest in Brentford duo Ollie Watkins and Rico Henry, according to Sky Sports.
With the Baggies having won promotion back to the Premier League, Slaven Bilic will be looking to bolster his ranks ahead of top-flight football returning to The Hawthorns.
Sky Sports claims that the West Brom boss is an admirer of the Bees duo, who enjoyed superb seasons and helped Thomas Frank’s side reach the Championship playoff final this year.
Last summer, Frank moved Watkins from out wide to up front in wake of Neal Maupay’s move to Brighton, which proved a masterstroke as he netted 26 league goals from 49 games – all of the Championship regular-season games plus playoffs.
“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,” Frank told the Wandsworth Times last August.
Left-back Henry, meanwhile, also featured in all 49 of Brentford’s league games last term and was described by Frank last August as “one of our most talented players” amid reported interest from other sides.
“We all know how difficult it is to find good left-footed full-backs and wing-backs and he’s one of the most talented in the division,” the manager told West London Sport. “So we definitely want to keep him longer term.”
Watkins has shown he’s a cut above at Brentford and, with the team failing to win promotion to the Premier League, it would be surprising to see him remain in the second tier this coming season.
However, it won’t be easy for West Brom – aside from a reported £25million price tag, the likes of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace are also said to be keen on the 24-year-old’s signature.
While Henry hasn’t been the subject of quite as much speculation, Celtic were said to be interested in him last year, and with an impressive season behind him, more suitors are likely to appear.
That said, the promise of Premier League football and potentially a lot of first-team minutes under a well-esteemed coach could perhaps sway things in the Baggies’ favour.