Crystal Palace are set to rival Southampton for Brentford striker Ollie Watkins in a summer swoop according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein.

Premier League clubs have been alerted to a buy-out clause in the striker’s contract which means he could be available for around £18million.

The 23-year-old who was a £1.8million signing from Exeter City in 2017, has excelled alongside Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo as part of the devastating trio who have been hailed as many as the best front three in the division.

Watkins signed a new four-year contract, with the option of a further year, last August and although he has revealed he is happy at Brentford, the situation could change if the Bees fail to win promotion to the Premier League this season.

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Brentford have enjoyed a fantastic return to form since the restart of the season and have won four games out of four whilst looking by far and away the best team in the division since football began once again.

Watkins has been an instrumental part of their team and is currently the joint highest scorer in the league alongside Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

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Southampton and Crystal Palace are amongst the clubs monitoring his situation and are preparing to make a move for the lethal frontman.

Watkins had previously played as a winger for Brentford but has adapted to the central striker role seamlessly and there is little doubt that he would be able to make the step up to the Premier League.

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Brentford are currently in third place in the Championship and five points outside the automatic promotion places and with a favourable run in it isn’t inconceivable that they could catch either West Brom or Leeds United.

What seems sure is that Brentford will have to win promotion whether it be automatically or via the play-offs if they want to retain the services of their star striker.

Would Ollie Watkins be able to make the step up to the Premier League?

Yes

No