Crystal Palace & Southampton Latest Clubs Linked With £18m-Rated Ollie Watkins

Callum Altimas
Arsenal v Brentford - Carabao Cup Third Round
Arsenal v Brentford - Carabao Cup Third Round / MB Media/Getty Images

Brentford striker Ollie Watkins is being closely monitored by Premier League sides Southampton and Crystal Palace ahead of a potential transfer in the upcoming window.

Watkins, who is the joint top scorer in this season's Championship with 23 goals, has been pivotal in Brentford's push for the Premier League, with the Bees sitting third in the league - five points off an automatic promotion place.

The 24-year-old's prolific form has reportedly caught the eye of a number of Premier League teams, with West Ham reportedly interested in the striker back in March and even Chelsea linked earlier in the year.

Watkins has been in fine goal-scoring form this season for Brentford
Watkins has been in fine goal-scoring form this season for Brentford / James Chance/Getty Images

Now The Athletic report that Southampton and Crystal Palace are both interested in Watkins.

Crystal Palace's Roy Hodgson recently announced his plans to strengthen the Eagles' attack by dipping into the transfer market and Watkins could be the answer to the lack of goals at Selhurst Park this season. With Jordan Ayew's nine goals the most at Palace this season, the addition of a highly rated goalscorer like Watkins could be a boost for the Eagles.

Southampton are likely looking for someone to partner with the free scoring Danny Ings, who has been in sensational form for the Saints this season.

Watkins joined Brentford back in 2017 for £1.8m from Exeter City and the forward has gone from strength to strength during his time at Griffin Park, scoring 46 goals over his three years at the club.

A new four-year contract Watkins signed last August has set the striker's release clause at £18m, a price sure to attract plenty more sides looking to bolster their attacking lines once this season has finished.

A sub-£20m move for the Championship's top scorer offers a low risk-high reward type of situation for anyone pursuing the forward.

A potential move away from Brentford may ultimately come down to whether Thomas Frank's men remain in the Championship heading into next season, or whether they make it to the promised land.