Bruce Exclusive: Aston Villa will be in pole position to seal two big-money deals

Alex Bruce believes Dean Smith’s relationship with reported targets Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, could give Aston Villa an edge over their rivals.

The former Premier League defender and son of ex-Villa boss Steve, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted Smith will know the pair “inside out” following his time managing them at Brentford.

As revealed by Football InsiderVilla are plotting a £50million double raid to sign both Watkins and Brentford teammate Said Benrahma after the Bees’ play-off heartbreak on Tuesday.

The pair were in lethal form last term, alongside strike-partner Bryan Mbeumo, Brentford’s ‘BMW’ partnership fired in a stunning 59 goals between them.

And Bruce believes bringing them in would be a “good bit of business.”

“He knows all about them and he knows what they can bring to the team as well, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens,” Bruce told Football Insider

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“If they do well it will be a good bit of business. Dean Smith will know them both inside out so we’ll just have to watch this space on that one.”

Dean Smith signed both players during his time as Brentford manager, parting with a reported £2.7m and £1.8m respectively to bring them in from Nice and Exeter respectively.

Goals came at a premium for Aston Villa in the second half of their Premier League campaign, following an injury to  summer signing Wesley Moraes.

The Brazilian striker suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury during Villa’s clash with Burnley on New Year’s Day, keeping the five-goal forward out for the remainder of the campaign.

Villa snapped up Mbwana Samatta from Genk in January to bolster his attacking options but he managed to net just once in 11 starts.

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton makes big Aston Villa transfer claim after £50m reveal.