Ollie Watkins: Aston Villa frustrated over talks, Brentford agree Ivan Toney deal

Villa's owners are prepared to give Dean Smith financial backing in this transfer window, after his side secured Premier League survival last season

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After a stunning season for Brentford, we look at some of Ollie Watkins' best strikes for the Bees as he impressed throughout the 2019-20 campaign

Aston Villa are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in talks to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford, who have have agreed a £10m deal to sign Peterborough striker Ivan Toney.

A new striker is Villa boss Dean Smith's overwhelming priority in this transfer window, followed by a winger. Watkins' goalscoring record in the Championship, and his versatility in being able to also play in a wide position, fits Villa's profile perfectly.

Peterborough striker Ivan Toney
Image: Peterborough striker Ivan Toney told Sky Sports News 'it was time to move on'

Villa's hierarchy are keen to tie up a deal soon, so that Watkins could acquaint himself with his new team-mates in pre-season, before the Premier League kick off on September 12.

But with the vast competition for the 24-year-old, Villa fear they are in the middle of an auction, and are reluctant to get involved in a bidding war for the player, who has just been named Championship player of the season.

Brentford's deal to sign Toney could now allow Watkins to move to the Premier League with Sheffield United and Fulham among several clubs also interested in the front man.

Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma have been prolific this season as Brentford narrowly missed out on Premier League promotion
Image: Watkins and Said Benrahma have been prolific this season as Brentford narrowly missed out on Premier League promotion

As things stand, the likely asking price of £25m for Watkins could be too high for the Blades, but is affordable for Villa - if they're prepared to rein in their expectations for new recruits in other positions.

Toney told Sky Sports News earlier this month he wanted to play in the Premier League, but no concrete offers had emerged.

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At least three other clubs were interested in the League One striker, one of those was Scottish champions Celtic.

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Former Brentford striker Marcus Gayle says he has 'full confidence' the club can replace any top players who may be sold this summer after Brentford failed to win promotion to the Premier League

Furthermore, Sky Sports News has reported that Villa are also keen on Watkins' Brentford attacking team-mate Said Benrahma, also valued at £25m, who excelled last season as Thomas Frank's side reached the Championship play-off final.

So far in the transfer window, Villa have brought in Ben Chrisene from Exeter City for an undisclosed fee, the club were keen on signing Aaron Ramsdale before the England U21 international goalkeeper re-joined Sheffield United from Bournemouth in an £18.5m deal.

Meanwhile, Craig Shakespeare has been appointed as the club's new assistant head coach, while Johan Lange was named as the club's new sporting director following the sacking of Jesus Garcia Pitarch.

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