By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

4th Oct, 2023 | 5:10pm

Chelsea could be in hunt to sign Ollie Watkins in January amid Aston Villa contract development

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…

Alan Hutton admits Chelsea could be in the hunt to sign Ollie Watkins from Aston Villa this January.

Watkins, 27, scored his second hat-trick of the season in front of England manager Gareth Southgate on Saturday (30 September) as the Villans beat Brighton 6-1 at Villa Park.

Chelsea have scored as many Premier League goals as Watkins has in all competitions this season [7] while the Blues’ top league goalscorer last season was Kai Havertz with seven goals as well.

The London club’s goalscoring woes are well-documented and Watkins seems like a logical target for them based on his record and also the fact his deal at Villa Park expires next summer.

When asked if Chelsea could look at Watkins, Hutton told Villa News: “I hope not. With Chelsea, you never know. Who knows who they’re looking at?

They’ve got a bloated squad but they also have loads of injuries and that’s affecting them at this moment in time. But that’s where they’ve struggled – putting the ball in the back of the net.

They scored two on Monday night [in a 2-0 win over Fulham] and that’ll obviously boost their confidence.

In terms of looking for that number nine, I’m sure they have a shortlist. Could Ollie Watkins be on it? Possibly.

If he keeps on scoring goals and playing well for Aston Villa, there’s no doubt people will be looking at him.

But I want to see him stay where he is. He offers a lot to the Aston Villa team.”

Fabrizio Romano reported on Sunday morning (1 October) that Villa are pushing to get Watkins tied down to a new contract “as soon as possible”.

In other Aston Villa news, Dan Bardell has told Emery to keep this “high-profile” player away from Villa Park this season.