£33m Premier League striker on Manchester United radar
Manchester United have been watching Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins as Erik ten Hag targets a new frontman.
That is according to a report from The Athletic, who claim that Watkins is on the Old Trafford radar.
It’s stated that United have been watching Watkins ahead of potentially launching a move to sign him.
Watkins now has just two years left on his Villa contract but has been in talks over a new deal.
Rumours have suggested that the 27-year-old is close to extending his stay, but no agreement has been confirmed just yet.
That means there may still be a window of opportunity for United to swoop in and make Watkins an offer.
Villa certainly won’t want Watkins to edge towards 18 months and then 12 months left to go on his contract.
Luring Watkins out of Villa won’t be easy though.
Unai Emery has taken Villa into the Europa Conference League and they are looking to move forward under the Spaniard.
Selling their star striker surely isn’t in their plans, so United would have to cough up huge money to land Watkins this summer.
Few strikers have matched Ollie Watkins in 2023
Watkins has always been a threat.
The England striker hit 25 goals in his first two Premier League seasons following a £33million move from Brentford in 2020.
Defenders hate facing Watkins’ pace and work rate, but he really took his game to another level this year.
Watkins went on a staggering run from January 21st, bagging 11 goals in 12 games across all competitions.
The goal dried up a little with one goal in his final eight games of the season.
Watkins was one of the top strikers in Europe for the second half of the campaign, putting himself on United’s radar.
Erik ten Hag may well believe that Watkins can take that form into next season and beyond with a move to Old Trafford, but this one would be hard for United to pull off.