Brentford are prepared to negotiate with Newcastle United for the signing of Ollie Watkins this summer, according to the Chronicle.
In an ideal world, Thomas Frank would keep together an exciting crop of footballers, perhaps the best in Brentford’s history, and have another stab at Premier League promotion in 2020/21.
But football is a cruel game at times.
And the West London outfit must have known that, once Joe Bryan raced through to score his second of the night in the play-off final defeat to Fulham last week, they had seen the last of Watkins, Said Benrahma and potentially Rico Henry in red and white stripes.
Watkins, having been transformed from a lively winger into a ruthless ‘number nine’ by Bees boss Thomas Frank, is a target for what feels like every club in the bottom half of the Premier League.
According to the Chronicle, funds are as tight as ever at a Newcastle side who will not, after all, be bankrolled by a Saudi Arabian billionaire this summer.
But while they are looking at cut-price additions like Jeff Hendrick and Arnaud Lusamba, the Magpies could still be tempted to splash out on something a little more shiny.
Watkins, after firing home 26 goals last season, looks every inch the kind of lethal finisher Newcastle need – especially when you consider that Joelinton, the £40 million record signing, ended 2019/20 as he started it.
The report adds that Watkins would command a fee in excess of £16 million (with Sky suggesting £25 million will do the trick).
That would take a sizeable chunk out of Steve Bruce’s budget but a man capable of breaking the 15-goal barrier would be worth every penny.