Exclusive - Aston Villa are to step up their interest in Brentford striker Neal Maupay, as they continue rebuilding their squad ahead of the new campaign.
The Villans have forked out close to £100m on transfer fees this summer, adding eight players to their squad ahead of a first Premier League campaign in four seasons - breaking their transfer record in the process.
Reinforcements have been sought for a number of positions, with Villa placing particular emphasis on strengthening their options going forward. Attacking midfielders Jota and Anwar El Ghazi have joined on permanent deals, and it's 90min's understanding that Brentford's Neal Maupay is also of significant interest.
The Frenchman is back in training with the Bees having previously been sent home from their pre-season tour of Austria in order to 'clear his head' - amid reports linking him with a move to Sheffield United.
Maupay is anxious to secure a Premier League move - and Villa manager Dean Smith is keen to reunite with him after previously working alongside him at Griffin Park.
As it stands, neither Villa or Sheffield United have matched Brentford's asking price of close to £20m, but Villa will step up their efforts to sign Maupay in the coming days as Smith feels that he needs to add more goalscoring talent to his squad - despite splashing out £22m on Brazilian frontman Wesley.
Maupay scored 28 goals in 49 appearances for Brentford last season, winning the club's Players' Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year awards, having netted 13 times in his first season in English football.
Were he to agree a move to Villa Park, he could join Egyptian winger Trezeguet in the Midlands - after a £10m deal was agreed with Turkish side Kasimpasa.