Dean Smith is tonight on the verge of significantly breaking Aston Villa’s transfer record, with a £33 million pound deal for Ollie Watkins imminent.
The 26 goal Brentford striker is reported to be set to join Villa for an up-front cash payment of £28 million, with the final fee totalling in excess of £30m with add-ons.
This is a transfer saga that has dragged on throughout the summer window, with Villa increasingly desperate to improve the strikeforce ahead of the new campaign.
At just 24, Watkin’s is now entering the prime of his career and the Championship top-scorer’s quality will now be tested for the first time in the Premier League.
This is a without doubt a staggering fee, but one which Villa, backed with a war-chest of £100+ million and owners with lofty ambitions, simply had to pay. Brentford evidently held most of the cards in the negotiation, with a valuation of up to £33m ultimatey too good to turn down.
The out-lay significantly dwarfs the previous record paid for Wesley, with the Brazilian joining from Club Brugge for £22m just last summer.
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Watkins will arrive at Villa Park with massive pressure on his shoulders; there’s little getting away from it. Not only will he but under scrutiny to justify his price-tag, but Smith will no doubt be pondering who amongst the ranks is fit to support his new acquisition. The jury certainly remains out on Samatta, Davis and indeed Wesley.
With a fee now agreed in principle with Brentford, Watkins is now expected to undergo a medical to finalise the move. Dean Smith, his former boss, has been cited as an important lure in his decision to make the switch to Villa Park.
Villa missed out on Callum Wilson earlier this week. Whilst this re-focused the clubs efforts upon sealing Watkins, it is believed that Smith remains in the market for another striker before Villa’s curtain raiser against Sheffield United.
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