Villa ‘turn attention’ to extending striker’s contract amid Arsenal links

Aston Villa are reportedly preparing a new contract for Ollie Watkins to fend off interest in the England striker.

Watkins has scored eight goals and provided one assist in 28 Premier League matches this season.

Arsenal, Arteta need to rediscover spark ahead of crunch run

He has been linked with a move to Arsenal in recent months with the Gunners chasing a new striker.

Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette are Mikel Arteta’s only options up top and are both out of contract at the end of this season.

After letting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave in January, former Leeds striker Noel Whelan said that Watkins would not have the same impact on Arsenal as the Gabonese did.

“Aubameyang is a massive name, and he’s firing them in for Barcelona right now,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“Is Watkins the type of player who can come in and have that same impact? I’m not so sure, I think Aubameyang is just that grade ahead when in form.

“But he’s young, and he’s got talent. There’s nothing to say that he can’t step into those shoes in the future.

“It’s not the worst signing that they could make. We’ve seen him do it for Villa and his work rate is really good.”

According to Football Insider, Aston Villa are keen on extending Watkins’ contract to fend off interest from elsewhere.

The 26-year-old still has more than three years left on his current deal, however, Villa want to reward his progress by making him one of the top earners at the club.

Watkins made his England debut last March and has scored twice in his seven caps for the Three Lions.

Meanwhile, Kevin Campbell has urged Arsenal to sign Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz.

“100 per cent. I think he’d be a great partner for (Thomas) Partey,” Campbell said.

“Douglas Luiz is hungry, young and is a good ball player. I think he could come in and do a really good job.

“We need numbers as well. It is not just a matter on signing starters. We need a squad. At the moment our squad is not up to scratch. We are weaker than other teams.”

The post Villa ‘turn attention’ to extending striker’s contract amid Arsenal links appeared first on Football365.