Sheffield United will have to match a bid in the region of at least £18m if they are to get in the mix to sign long-term target, Ollie Watkins.

The Daily Mail claims that Aston Villa are set to launch a bid for the Brentford star, with an £18m fee being reported as Villa’s opening offer to the Bees.

 (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Watkins was in fine form last season for Brentford but couldn’t quite steer them to a promotion, despite scoring more than 25 goals across the campaign. That has left the careers of a number of Bees stars in limbo, with Watkins and Said Benrahma the two most sought-after.

The Blades have been credited with a long-term admiration of Watkins. Back in January, Watkins was linked with a move to Bramall Lane by the Star. While just a few weeks ago, talk of an apparent £18m release clause had the Telegraph claiming we were willing to meet that valuation.

Ollie Watkins Blades Brentford

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

But that clause has since been played down by Brentford. Indeed, Villa’s offer is likely to be rejected, with the Bees looking for something closer to £25m for their star striker.

We could be out of the race here but don’t count Wilder out just yet – Our View

The fees involved mean it’s likely the Blades won’t be signing Watkins this summer. It’s just so hard to justify splashing another £20-odd million on someone when we have just spent big on a goalkeeper.

However, Chris Wilder has made it known he wants to add to his striking options. So, with that in mind, we shouldn’t count him out completely.

Nobody expected us to land Sander Berge for such big money in January and look what happened there.

With a bit of luck and a bit of backing, we are, hopefully, still well in the mix to land the Championship’s top striker.

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