Crystal Palace want Brentford's Ollie Watkins and offer deal to Ryan Fraser

Jacob Steinberg and Ed Aarons
·1-min read

Crystal Palace are battling with Aston Villa to sign the Brentford striker Ollie Watkins and have offered a contract to Ryan Fraser, who is a free agent after leaving Bournemouth.

Watkins could be allowed to leave Brentford for £18m after their defeat by Fulham in the Championship play-off final on Tuesday. The 24-year-old striker ended the season with 26 goals in 50 games and is regarded as one of the best talents in the Championship.

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Palace, who have had a bid for Eberechi Eze rejected by Queens Park Rangers, are hoping to add more firepower to their attack. They almost signed Watkins for £10m last summer but now will hope to see off strong interest in the former Exeter forward from Villa, who are also looking for another striker after avoiding relegation. West Ham, Sheffield United and Leeds are also monitoring developments.

West Ham are interested in another Brentford forward, Saïd Benrahma, who could cost at least £20m. They are also rivalling Palace for Eze, who is almost certain to leave QPR. Palace are leading the race to sign the 22-year-old forward, who scored 14 goals last season, and had a bid worth £12m plus add-ons turned down. QPR want at least £16m for Eze, who has also attracted interest from West Brom, Villa and Leeds.

Palace are also keen on Fraser, who left Bournemouth after his contract expired on 30 June. The Scottish winger decided against a short-term extension to play Bournemouth’s final nine matches, exiting before they were relegated. Palace have offered the 26-year-old a deal worth £50,000 a week.