According to The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas, Brentford would be prepared to do a deal with Newcastle for star striker Ollie Watkins.
The piece states that the 24-year-old has been identified as one of the strikers Steve Bruce could turn to this summer, and it seems he may also be an affordable option that works within our £30-35m budget.
The Athletic recently revealed that a release clause of £18m exists in his current deal now the Bees failed to gain promotion back to the Premier League, however Douglas writes in his latest transfer piece for The Chronicle that Brentford could sell for somewhere ‘in excess of £16m’.
Watkins is untested at Premier League level but has been arguably the Championship’s best striker across 2019/20, bagging 26 goals in Brentford’s run to the play-off finals.
Bournemouth duo Josh King and Callum Wilson have been strongly linked, with the Northern Echo stating we’ve held talks with the Cherries over both, however the same report said Bruce faces a ‘huge battle’ to persuade either to sign at St James’ Park.
This is likely down to the amount of interest they’ll have received and the fact both are likely to demand at least £25m each, meaning a move for Watkins may provide better value for money and a deal that gives Bruce more cash to work with on other signings this summer.
Watkins would be a slight risk, yet he looks ready made for the Premier League based on what I’ve seen over the past 12 months, with his pace, power, work rate and eye for goal making him a very well rounded striker capable of making an immediate impact.