Aston Villa are preparing an opening bid for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins, though they are likely to face competition for his signature.

A new striker is top of Villa's shopping list this transfer window and manager Dean Smith, who signed Watkins when he was Brentford manager, believes the 24-year-old would be a big success in the Premier League.

Sheffield United and Crystal Palace are also interested in Watkins but Brentford want a deal worth £25m, which is likely to dissuade the Blades from making a move.