Bristol City and Ipswich Town are both interested in signing Barnsley midfielder Marley Watkins, according to the Bristol Post.

The 26-year-old was signed for Barnsley in the summer of 2015 by current Bristol City boss Lee Johnson. Watkins has been a vital player for the Tykes in both their League One promotion season and this term’s surprise rise to the top-half of the Championship. During last season’s play-off and EFL Trophy double, the midfielder made a huge 42 appearances for the South Yorkshire club and bagged an impressive eight goals.

Just like his club, Watkins has not been intimidated by the jump to second-tier football this term and has risen to the challenge. Barnsley are eighth in the Championship and just four points short of Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off spots. The winger has made 22 appearances in his team’s climb to the top half of the table and bagged six goals, including finding the net in a 2-2 draw with Johnson’s Bristol City.

Both City and the Tractor Boys are sitting in the bottom half of the table and require a boost from someone like Watkins to lift their season. The former Cheltenham Town player would command a reported fee of around £1.5 million and is out of a contract in the summer.

With rumours of Luke Freeman leaving Ashton Gate for QPR, Marley Watkins would be a great replacement for the former Stevenage star.

At Portman Road, Mick McCarthy’s side have struggled to find the net and average just one goal a game in the Championship. The Barnsley star guarantees goals from his wide position and could contribute to fix the issue.

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