Aston Villa are heavily interested in signing Ollie Watkins from Brentford, with the Express and Star reporting recently that the forward is Dean Smith’s first-choice target for the summer.
However, with several other Premier League clubs joining the race to sign the 24-year-old forward, Brentford holds the ace at the negotiation table.
According to reports from Sky Sports, Aston Villa are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in their negotiation with the Bees for a deal for Watkins.
Villa, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, are desperate to sign a striker this summer and have earmarked Watkins as a potential option. He is a versatile forward who is also capable of playing in wide positions, and fits Villa’s profile perfectly.
Last season, Watkins scored 26 goals in the Championship for Brentford. Villa are keen to tie up a deal soon but they are facing competition from the likes of Sheffield United, Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Brentford are demanding a fee in the region of £25m for Watkins. Villa fear they are in the middle of an auction and are reluctant to get involved in a bidding war for the Championship player of the season.
Fulham have the financial power to match Brentford’s asking price, and they have been in talks to sign the striker as well. The Cottagers are looking to bolster their forward line, and are also interested in signing Callum Wilson from Bournemouth.