By Phil Jennings
VILLA boss Dean Smith could be about to miss out on one of his top transfer targets.
French newspaper L’Equipe claims that Brentford’s Neal Maupay is on the verge of signing for Brighton.
The Frenchman did not play in Saturday’s season opener against Blues, firing up speculation that Maupay was on his way out of Griffin Park.
But although Smith knows him well from his days at Brentford – and is in the market for a new forward before the season starts – it looks ;ike the player has chosen Brighton.
This would be a blow for Villa and Smith – although Brentford have seemed reluctant to do business with their former manager.
Winger Said Benrahma was another target for Villa, but he was price out of a move and Smith signed Trezeguet instead.
But speculation is rife online about who Villa’s new striker could be. It seems as though Smith may be about to move on if Maupay is heading for the south coast – but he if still wants the player, he will have to move fast.