Neal Maupay

As per a report from Simon Collings of the Evening Standard, Aston Villa are one of a number of clubs expressing an interest in the signature of Brentford star Neal Maupay.

Villa 2-1 Derby

Dean Smith’s Villa went head-to-head with Derby County in the Championship playoff final last week.

The Villans booked their spot in the showpiece courtesy of a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over fierce rivals West Brom.

Frank Lampard’s Derby, meanwhile, advanced to the playoff finale courtesy of a stunning second-leg comeback win over Leeds United.

When all was said and done at Wembley, though, only one side could seal a return to English football’s top-tier, with an entertaining affair having eventually seen Villa emerge victorious.

Anwar El Ghazi’s stooping header put the Claret and Blue ahead on the stroke of half-time, before John McGinn capitalized on a poor piece of goalkeeping from Kelle Roos to double their advantage.

Martyn Waghorn did manage to pull one back for Derby 10 minutes from time to set up a tense close to proceedings, but, in the end, Villa held on.

Villa clearout

As such, Dean Smith’s side will be plying their trade back in the Premier League next season for the first time since 2015/16.

The board at Villa Park, though, evidently feel as though their squad requires a major overhaul in order to compete with English football’s top clubs.

This was made evident by the fact that 8 of the Villans’ stars, in the form of Mile Jedinak, Alan Hutton, Tommy Elphick, Albert Adomah, Glenn Whelan, Ritchie De Laet, Mark Bunn and Micah Richards, were released over the weekend:

Maupay to Villa?

Villa’s clearout of those who were evidently deemed to be deadwood also hints at a rake of imminent additions to Dean Smith’s squad over the coming months.

And, as per the aforementioned update from Simon Collings this afternoon, one of the players whom the Premier League returnees appear to have targeted is Brentford star man Neal Maupay.

French striker Maupay, who can also play in an attacking midfield role, enjoyed a stellar campaign with the Bees this past season.

Across all competitions, the 22-year-old racked up 28 goals and 8 assists. 25 of his strikes, meanwhile, came in the Championship.

As such, it appears unlikely that Maupay will be plying his trade in England’s second-tier again next season.

Villa, though, are just one of a number of clubs ‘from all over Europe’ keen on the Frenchman.

A fee of ‘over £20 million’ is also likely to be required to coax Brentford into a sale.

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