Aston Villa ‘keen’ to offer £30m ace new deal as Premier League rivals eye striker move

Aston Villa are set to offer a new contract to striker Ollie Watkins in an effort to warn off interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal.

The former Brentford ace has scored 24 goals in 69 appearances since moving to Villa Park in a reported £30.5million deal in September 2020.

Watkins form with Villa earned him a maiden call-up to the England squad in March last year and he marked his debut with a goal in a 5-0 home win against San Marino.

Watkins doubled his Three Lions tally last month when he netted the opening goal in a 3-0 Wembley win against the Ivory Coast and will hope to form part of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad later this year.

His form at Premier League level has attracted the attention of Arsenal, who are set to lose striker duo Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette when their current contracts come to an end this summer.

However, Football Insider have claimed Villa are preparing to offer a new deal to Watkins to keep him at Villa Park for the foreseeable future.

Villa full-back wants permanent Magpies move

There was some surprise when Steven Gerrard allowed Matt Targett to depart for Premier League rivals Newcastle United in a loan deal finalised on the final day of the January transfer window.

The arrival of Everton full-back Lucas Digne was believed to have been completed to provide competition for the former Southampton defender - but he opted for a loan switch to Tyneside in search of regular first-team football.

Targett has been a key part of Newcastle’s surge away from the Premier League relegation zone and that has heightened speculation he will make a permanent switch to St James Park at the end of the season.

Matt Targett of Newcastle United (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The defender seems keen to convert his loan deal into a permanent one, telling Chronicle Live: “I’m sure and hope they can sort something out for me.

“For sure it (decision time) is coming closer so at the moment I am really enjoying my time here and loving playing in front of the Geordie fans here.

“That’s just the way it is. A new manager came in and he might fancy you, so you look elsewhere. This was a massive challenge. I think the club were 19th in the table.

“But it was a project and there was real belief that I could get here and make an impact and help the team. I think I have done that.

“With the group of players they have here already I think they were too good to be where they were. It was a no-brainer to come here. Like I say I have really enjoyed my time here.”

Championship side learn of possible fee for Villa striker

Keinan Davis has caught the eye since leaving Aston Villa to join Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan during the January transfer window.

Cundy battles for possession during Nottingham Forest fixture

The striker has scored five goals in 19 appearances in all competitions for the City Ground club and has also provided three assists during that time.

That has led to speculation Forest wish to sign the former Biggleswade Town forward on a permanent basis at the end of the season - although they face interest from a Norwich City side managed by former Villa boss Dean Smith.

Birmingham Live has reported Villa have responded by suggesting Davis will command a fee of between £5m-10m if he is to leave the club on a permanent deal this summer.