STEVEN GERRARD quashed speculation that Ollie Watkins could move to West Ham completely dead with just two words: ‘Go nowhere’.
Hammers boss David Moyes has been linked with a big-money summer bid for 26-year-old England striker Watkins to ease the burden on lone striker Michail Antonio.
But Villa’s boss, Gerrard, dismissed it as a total flop, saying: “We love Ollie and really enjoyed working with him.
“To take this club to where we need to take it, we need goalscorers, we need top-tier players and Ollie Watkins is a top-tier player.
“I will fight as hard as it takes if it ever comes up.
“But he won’t because I know the owners and I know Christian Purslow (CEO) and Johan Lange (Director of Football) are on the same page.
“We want to build this around people like Ollie Watkins. We love him.”
“He’s our leading scorer this year, so it doesn’t make any sense to me to even listen to speculation about Ollie Watkins. It’s a resounding no.”
Gerrard previously praised Watkins earlier this year, comparing him to his former Liverpool teammate Fernando Torres.
But his 26 goals in 73 games for Villa since his £28m move from Brentford have sparked interest from elsewhere in the league.
FREE BETS AND REGISTRATION OFFERS – BEST OFFERS FOR NEW CUSTOMERS
Watkins heads a three-man transfer list at the London Stadium.
Moyes is very fond of Armando Broja, a star on loan to Southampton, as is Arsenal’s out-of-contract man Eddie Nketiah.