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Aston Villa eye move for Brentford's Ollie Watkins

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Villa are set to move for Ollie Watkins after Brentford’s play-off final defeat.

Brentford's Ollie Watkins (right) and West Bromwich Albion's Ahmed Hegazi

The Bees were beaten 2-1 by Fulham on Tuesday and their failure to reach the Premier League means the £25million-rated striker is expected to leave during the transfer window, with Villa among his suitors.

Boss Dean Smith is a big admirer of Watkins, who joined Brentford when he was in charge of the London club in 2017.

The 24-year-old finished the season as the Championship’s joint top scorer with 26 goals and Smith, who is eager to bolster his attacking options, believes he is ready to make the step up. Crystal Palace and Sheffield United are among the other clubs vying for his signature.

Watkins’ team-mate Said Benrahma is also of interest though Villa, who saw a bid for the Algerian winger rejected 12 months ago, will only move if the price is right.

Smith is particularly keen to strengthen his team in wide areas and Villa are expected to rebuff any offers for Trezeguet after the Egyptian international, who has been linked with several Turkish clubs, played a key role in their Premier League survival.

The future of Anwar El Ghazi is less certain and the Dutch winger, who struggled for form over the second half of the season, is among several players who could leave should Villa receive a suitable offer. Midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is a loan target for Turkish club Trabzonspor.

Fans have, meanwhile, voted Douglas Luiz’s strike in last August’s 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth as Villa’s goal of the season.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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