The Bees were beaten 2-1 by Fulham on Tuesday and their failure to reach the Premier League means the £25million-rated striker is expected to leave during the transfer window, with Villa among his suitors. 

Boss Dean Smith is a big admirer of Watkins, who joined Brentford when he was in charge of the London club in 2017. 

The 24-year-old finished the season as the Championship’s joint top scorer with 26 goals and Smith, who is eager to bolster his attacking options, believes he is ready to make the step up. Crystal Palace and Sheffield United are among the other clubs vying for his signature.