By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

23rd Jun, 2023 | 11:10am

Ollie Watkins to have head turned by Man United as Aston Villa exit development emerges

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park… 

Ollie Watkins could have his head turned by interest from Manchester United if they formalise their pursuit of the Aston Villa striker, according to Alan Hutton.

The Athletic reported on 17 June that Erik ten Hag is in the hunt for a new centre-forward this summer and Watkins, 27, has been watched by the Red Devils.

Watkins has two years remaining on his contract at Villa Park but Aston Villa have been in discussions with the striker about fresh terms.

On 1 May, The Athletic journalist Gregg Evans reported that talks had started to tie the England international down to a long deal in the West Midlands.

However, there’s been no public development regarding Watkins’ contract and Hutton admits that if Man United do make a move for the striker, he’s likely to want to leave B6 and head to Old Trafford.

Speaking to Villa News, Hutton said: “You’re always worried about losing your top players.

I’m not 100 per cent sure about what’s left on his contract. I think there’s some amount of time left on it but they just want to give him a new deal.

I think it would have to be a big number for him to leave for Manchester United.

If this was real, would he consider it? Of course. It’s one of the biggest clubs in world football so it’s something that he’d obviously be interested in.

But at this moment in time, he’s doing well at Aston Villa, they’re moving in the right direction and if the contract can be negotiated quickly, I’m pretty sure he’ll want to sign it.”

Watkins scored 15 goals and supplied six assists in 37 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa last season as they finished seventh and qualified for the Europa Conference League.

In other Aston Villa news, big-name signings are now on the cards after a behind-the-scenes arrival at Villa Park.