By Graham Hill
IT looks as though Neal Maupay’s immediate future could be decided within days – with Villa are firmly in the race to sign the Brentford striker.
Maupay has been on boss Dean Smith’s wish list all summer – but Sheffield United and Brighton are also in the race for him.
Villa were being quoted around £20million for a player who Smith knows well from his days at Griffin Park.
But some reports suggest Maupay could be available for around £15million and Smith is definitely in the market for more fire power to play alongside Wesley Moraes.
However, the West London Sport website makes it clear that Brentford bosses are using the £15million sale of Blues striker Che Adams to Southampton as a guide.
Brentford believe Blues had to do that deal – but they do not feel as though they need to sell Frenchman Maupay.
But new developments on Saturday suggest that Bees recognise that they could soon lose the player.
The 22-year-old has been withdrawn from Brentford’s pre-season squad and would not be play in the friendly against Dynamo Kiev in Austria.
Maupay, who scored 28 goals last season, has been granted time off by the club and is expected to return to France until early next week.
He has been told to report back for training on Tuesday.
West London Sport adds: ‘Brentford have already banked sizeable transfer fees for several players in recent years, including the recent sale of goalkeeper Daniel Bentley to Bristol City and Chris Mepham’s January move to Bournemouth, so are in a position to play hardball.”