Aston Villa are on the verge of completing a club-record deal for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins after agreeing a fee of £28 million.
Watkins, 24, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation following a prolific campaign last season in the Championship.
And reports claim Villa are closing in on signing Watkins in a deal which could rise to £33 million.
Aston Villa close to deal for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins. Fee is an initial £28m which could rise to £33m with add-ons.
– Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) September 8, 2020
The Premier League club moved in the for Englishman after failing to snap up Callum Wilson who snubbed a move to Villa Park in favour of a switch to Newcastle United.
Watkins was hugely influential for The Bees last term as he scored an impressive 25 league goals.
He was named Championship Player of the Season in the EFL awards.
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Villa manager Dean Smith signed Watkins when he was Brentford manager and he spoke glowingly about the talented forward.
“Young Ollie Watkins – I tried signing him a year earlier from Exeter City but he wanted to stay another year,” he explained.
“I like that at even a young age he went on loan to Weston Super-Mare and scored fourteen odd goals there at a young age.
He’s got a great attitude and he doesn’t stop working. He’s a joy to work with.”
Smith added: “I played him a few times at striker. I always said to him he’d be a striker, he likes playing off the left and we felt that was the best area for him to go and get goals – but we played him at centre-forward at Bristol City away and he ran them ragged.
“Maupay came on and scored the winner and Ollie was disappointed that he didn’t score. That’s the sign for me of a top striker, he’ll do well.”
Watkins will be Villa’s second signing of the summer following the arrival of defender Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest.