Aston Villa are backed to make contract decision after £90m transfer valuation

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins signed a new deal with Villa in 2028 -Credit:PA

Former Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock foresees striker Ollie Watkins signing another contract with the club before he leaves to join one of their Champions League rivals. Watkins has completed the best season of his career, in which he scored 27 goals and contributed 13 assists as Unai Emery's leader of the line.

They're numbers which have left him on the brink of Gareth Southgate's England squad for the Euros in Germany this summer and there have been links involving Arsenal and Manchester United before now, too, that claim Villa's Premier League counterparts could come calling this summer in their respective bids to bolster their own strike-forces.

Watkins only signed a new contract in October, which runs until the summer of 2028, and with Villa now able to offer Champions League football, clearly they hold all of the cards. Warnock reckons it'd take as much as £90m - only £10m shy of what Manchester City had to pay to prise Jack Grealish away from Villa Park in 2021 - for Villa to even consider parting with Watkins, but he sees him staying put anyway - and perhaps even being further rewarded for his displays.

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“It wouldn’t surprise me if Ollie Watkins signed a new contract at Villa soon, it really wouldn’t," Warnock told NewsBettingSites. "If Villa were clever, they’d get it done before the Euros and I think they will. From Watkins’ point of view, he’s got to look back and think about what else it is he wants, he’s got Champions League football next season.

“Is he going to play at Liverpool or Arsenal and get a regular spot in the starting eleven? Possibly, he could do, but he knows he’s the main go-to guy at Villa. He knows he’s got a manager that will improve him and also will pick him if he has five bad games. That’s why having a manager who believes in you and trusts you is so important.

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"I think there will be clubs that try and turn his head, but I think he’s in a place at Villa where he’s very happy. If you’re talking about £70 million for Ivan Toney, you’d got to be thinking close to £90 million for Watkins. The way he plays the game and from what he’s done this season I think anywhere between £70-90 million would turn their heads.”

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