Arsenal hold ‘talks’ with £28m Aston Villa stars agent over January transfer - reports

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Two of Aston Villa’s Premier League rivals are keen to sign the Aston Villa star in the January transfer window.

Arsenal have reportedly held talks with the representatives of Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins.

A report from TEAMtalk claims that the Gunners’ sporting director Edu is ‘in talks’ with Watkins’ agent Paulo Vernazza. The North London club are considering making a move for him in the January transfer window but face competition from Chelsea and AC Milan.

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A new contract has been on the horizon for Watkins, and on Sunday following the 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, first-team manager Unai Emery said: “I am working about it. We are in touch.”

Watkins scored his first goal of the Premier League season and described it as a ‘relief’ having netted against one of the clubs said to have held an interest in him.

"It’s a bit of a relief, really, because the more the games go by, there’s a lot of talk and pressure," he said, ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Everton.

"But I just try and block that out and I back myself in front of goal no matter what anyone says.

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"The first one is always hard to get. I’m delighted to get off the mark now. I’m looking forward to the games coming up now and plenty more goals for the season.”

Contract talks are believed to have opened up in May, however a few months has passed since then, and a deal has yet to be agreed between Watkins and Villa.

His current contract does not expire until the summer of 2025, however an extension would likely make

for a higher transfer fee should he leave meanwhile his form is deserving of it.

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The 27-year-old has got four goals in nine assists this term across the Premier League and the UEFA Europa Conference League. He has got 47 goals and 15 assists in 125 games since joining for a club record £28m back in September 2020.

Fortunately for Villa, both clubs are also keeping tabs on Ivan Toney and are not put off by the ban the 27-year-old received for gambling offences. The two London clubs according to 90 min are willing to offer players to make a deal happen, but the Bees want a deal worth up to £75m for the England international.

Toney finished as third-highest scorer in the Premier League last season with only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane scoring more than him.

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