Ollie Watkins: Aston Villa agree fee for Brentford striker

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins scored 26 times as Brentford missed out on promotion to the Premier League in the play-off final

Aston Villa are closing in on a club-record deal for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins after agreeing a fee of £28m which could rise to £33m with add-ons.

Villa moved swiftly for the 24-year-old forward after failing in a bid to sign Callum Wilson from Bournemouth.

The England striker preferred to make a £20m move to Newcastle United.

Watkins was a key player for The Bees last season, scoring 26 goals as they missed out on promotion against Fulham in the Championship play-off final.

Villa manager Dean Smith has been determined to improve his striking options after his side only secured Premier League safety on the final day of last season.

Watkins will be reunited with Smith, who signed the forward when he was Brentford manager, paying an undisclosed fee to Exeter City in July 2017.

Smith's side scored 41 top-flight goals last season, but only six came from forwards - including five from Brazilian striker Wesley.

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