Manchester United want Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins alongside Hojlund: Report

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is willing to spend big to bring the striker to Old Trafford

Ollie Watkins Aston Villa's goal machine Ollie Watkins | Reuters

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, who is the fourth joint-top scorer in the Premier League this season, may receive a bid from Manchester United, reports said. 

28-year-old English striker Watkins, who has got 19 league goals this season with one round left to go, fits the profile that Manchester United's minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to rope in to support Rasmus Hojlund, Talksport said in a report. 

Ollie Watkins recently signed a fresh five-year-contract with Villa, who confirmed a UEFA Champions League berth from the Premier League. It is unlikely that United, or any bidder for that matter, will manage to sign him unless the offer is lucrative.

Ratcliffe's plan is to get the difficult-looking task done using the money raised through the selling of players including Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Antony, the report added. Earlier, reports claimed that United was preparing as many as 11 members of its current squad when the tranfer window reopens.  Some other media claimed that nobody except three players were safe in the Erik Ten Hag-managed squad. 

Meanwhile, defender Raphael Varane confirmed that he will leave Old Trafford when his contract expires at the end of the season. The 31-year-old Varane joined United in 2021 from Real Madrid but has struggled to bring out his A game.

Despite United languishing in eighth place in the English Premier League, Varane said he was very positive for the future following the arrival of Jim Ratcliffe as a co-owner.

The new owners are coming with a clear plan and a great strategy, Varane said.

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