Aston Villa to Seal Ollie Watkins Deal in the Next Week

Jude Summerfield
Sep 9, 2020, 9:00 AM GMT+1
Watkins scored 25 Championship goals last season
Watkins scored 25 Championship goals last season / Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Exclusive - Aston Villa will seal the signing of Brentford striker Ollie Watkins in the next week.

Villa are keen admirers of the 24-year-old, who previously for Exeter City in League Two before joining the Bees in 2017. He finished the 2019/20 season as the Championship's second top scorer, netting 25 goals - just one shy of Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The west Midlands outfit had previously been chasing a deal for Callum Wilson, as revealed by 90min earlier in September, but were pipped to the post as Newcastle signed the Bournemouth forward earlier this week.

Watkins' Brentford came up short in the playoffs
Watkins' Brentford came up short in the playoffs / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Now, 90min can reveal Brentford are demanding in excess of £25m for star man Watkins, which could rise beyond the £30m mark with add-ons.

Watkins' performances in the Championship have seen Brentford place a high price tag for any potential transfer, meaning other clubs have had to withdraw their interest. Villa now believe they have fought off the competition to land their target and are pushing hard to secure the deal.

A source confirmed to 90min: “Dean Smith is anxious to get this one of the line and Villa are backing him, they think this is just about over the line.”

Watkins is eager to leave west London after his side's dramatic slip-up towards the end of the 2019/20 season. Brentford were in the hunt for automatic promotion, battling West Brom for the runners-up spot, but losses in their last two Championship games ensured they finished third.

They beat Swansea in the playoff semi finals, but came up short against Scott Parker's Fulham in the final, losing 2-1 at Wembley.

Watkins' arrival would be Villa's second major piece of business this window, following the signing of right back Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest for a fee in the region of £14m.

It should also relieve some of the burden currently place on Jack Grealish. The recently capped England international was Villa's main creative spark and top goalscorer last season, netting eight strikes - including one on the final day against West Ham that ensured the Villans' Premier League status.

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