By Graham Hill
NEAL Maupay has told Brentford he is ready to make a move to the Premier League – and that leaves Aston Villa well placed to compete a deal likely to be in the region of £20million.
A report in The Sun last week suggested Maupay, 22, was on boss Dean Smith’s wanted list this summer.
Smith was Maupay’s boss at Brentford and tried to sign him in January.
Now the Evening Standard says Maupay wants a top flight move if he leaves Brentford.
The report says the player is not pushing for a move and it will take a big offer to get him out of Griffin Park.
But Villa, with new financial clout behind them, seem prepared to break their transfer record to secure the Frenchman’s services.
Maupay was the third highest scorer in the Championship last season, scoring 25 league goals, a return beaten only by Norwich’s Teemu Pukki and, of course, Tammy Abraham.
But Maupay is also bring tracked by clubs in France, Germany and Italy.
Brighton tried to sign Maupay two years ago when he went to Brentford and could be back again.
It was Villa boss Smith, who was in charge of Brentford though when they signed Maupay from Saint-Etienne in 2017 for £1.6million.
But Maupay still has two years to run on his Brentford contract which is why he has such a high price on his head.