Leeds United and Crystal Palace ‘monitor’ Aston Villa striker amid La Liga star claims

There has been speculation over a move throughout the summer.

Leeds United and Crystal Palace are reportedly considering a move for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins.

There has been doubt cast over the future of the England striker after Football Insider claimed Watkins and Villa manager Steven Gerrard ‘do not see eye-to-eye’.

However, the claims were dismissed as ‘absolute nonsense’ by the club.

There has been speculation Gerrard was ready to bolster his attacking ranks by making a move for Espanyol striker Raul de Tomas and the La Liga club’s chairman Mao Ye has reportedly stated the 27-year-old could depart this season.

Whether the potential arrival of the Spanish star would lead to Watkins departure from Villa Park remains open to question - but one journalist has claimed the striker would not be short of suitors if he was to leave.

Speaking via his Twitter account, Ben Jacobs said: “A final name to mention is Ollie Watkins.

“Villa sources dismiss tension between Watkins and Steven Gerrard and maintain they don’t want to sell. Palace and Leeds monitoring. Key will be whether Watkins pushes for an exit.

“Villa calm about situation but no doubt one to watch.”

Villa boss Gerrard did address speculation over Watkins future when the former Brentford striker was linked with a surprise move to Premier League rivals West Ham United earlier this summer.

When asked of a potential move, Gerrard said: “(He is) Going nowhere! If you ask me, going nowhere. Going nowhere. We love him. We’re really enjoying working with him.

“To take this challenge where we want to take it, we need goalscorers. We need top players and Ollie Watkins, for me, is a top player so I’ll fight as hard as I need to fight if that ever comes.

“It’s not because I know the owners, and I know Christian Purslow and I know Johan Lange are on the same page. We want to build this around the likes of Ollie Watkins. We’re delighted with him so, yeah, it’s a straight no!”