By Harry Sykes

Barnsley winger Marley Watkins is the most likely player to join Aston Villa in the summer transfer window, according to a report.

Sky Sports’ transfer centre (Tuesday, 12.15pm) regularly plugs its Football Whispers section, which claimed on Tuesday evening that the wide midfielder, 26, is the likeliest Villa Park arrival.

This comes after reports that Villa have been keeping close tabs on Watkins, who has contributed to a remarkable 19 league goals this season.

The dynamic right-winger will be one of the most coveted players in the Championship this summer as his contract expires at Barnsley in June.

Football Whispers, which gathers all transfer rumours across the globe and calculates the likelihood of them happening, rates it 2.9 out of 5 that Watkins will join Villa, with five the highest possible ranking and meaning it is a certainty.

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Watkins is ahead in the ratings of Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, who has a rating of 1.3, and Barnsley central defender Marc Roberts, whose rating of moving to the Midlands giants is 1.1.

London-born Watkins has made a huge impression at Barnsley since joining from Inverness in the summer of 2015.

The former non-league player has provided considerable evidence of his late blooming by ripping up the Championship with 10 goals and nine assists in 40 league matches this season.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have been installed hot favourites to sign a 25-goal striker ripping up one of the world’s toughest leagues.

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