We are still in the very early stages of the summer but according to this report from Sky Sports News, Crystal Palace are poised to make a bid for Brentford wide man Ollie Watkins, amid interest in him from Sheffield United.
Still just 23, Watkins was one of the better performers for the Bees across the 2018-19 campaign, bagging 12 goals and six assists across 45 appearances but alongside the likes of Said Benrahma and Neal Maupay, he’s been widely tipped to make a move away from Griffin Park before the new season gets underway.
Chris Wilder’s Blades will be obviously be desperate to strengthen their squad significantly ahead of the nine month battle to retain their top flight status and likely see Watkins as an ideal addition but with Palace having shown genuine interest in him before, they may have a battle on their hands.
With two years left on his deal in west London, Hodgson and Wilder may both come up against a figurative brick wall in their attempts to lure Ollie away but given the history and philosophy adopted by Brentford owner Matthew Benham in recent years, we can be relatively sure that a decent offer will be accepted and reinvested into the squad accordingly.
It’s difficult to know what sort of fee Brentford would be looking for to give a move the green light but you’d think that a bid between £9-12 million would be enough to at least tempt the Championship outfit into taking a seat at the negotiating table.
With Zaha and Townsend currently the undisputed first-choice wingers in SE25, Watkins would have a battle on his hands to break into the side but if he backs himself to do it by making the leap, I wouldn’t write off his chances of making inroads inside 6 months of arriving.
Watch this space.