Ollie Watkins’ future at Aston Villa has been up in the air amid interest from Arsenal and West Ham United, but Steven Gerrard has little reason to let the 26-year-old leave given his importance to the team.

Despite this, West Ham aren’t giving up on Watkins and the Guardian say United hope their superior Premier League status could convince the England international to make the switch.

Villa signed Watkins on a five-year deal from Brentford in 2019, so he has three years remaining on his deal. That means the club have no obligation to cash in unless the player requests a move.

Watkins scored 14 goals with five assists from 37 Premier League games last season and has scored 10 goals with one assist from 32 league games this campaign. He looks happy in the Midlands and is one of the first names on the teamsheet, so West Ham might have to turn their attentions elsewhere.

It’s a compliment to Watkins that he’s attracting interest from Premier League clubs, but Villa want to push for a European spot next season, so he may not need to leave for continental aspirations.

In other news, journalists say Ollie Watkins was a ‘massive problem’ for Liverpool