Brighton aim to seal Maupay signing from Brentford ahead of Watford opener

Neal Maupay almost joined Brighton two seasons ago (Getty)
Neal Maupay almost joined Brighton two seasons ago (Getty)

Brighton remain hopeful of completing the transfer for Brentford striker Neal Maupay ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener at Watford.

Maupay did not feature in pre-season for Brentford or their league defeat to Birmingham last Saturday, increasing talk that his departure is very close.

Brighton have a long-standing interest in Maupay and almost signed him two years ago - but the 22-year-old Frenchman opted to leave Saint-Etienne for the Bees instead.

Maupay is valued at around £20m and has also attracted attention from Aston Villa and Sheffield United. He enjoyed an excellent 2018-19 campaign in the Championship, scoring 25 goals in total.

The capture of Maupay would represent a decent transfer window for Brighton who have also added £15m winger Leandro Trossard and £20m defender Adam Webster to their squad.

On the prospect of bringing in a new striker, Brighton manager Graham Potter said, “We will look for the right character and the right person that will help our team.

“That’s what we will try to do right up until the end of the window.”

Maupay’s Brentford teammate Pontus Jansson added, “I think the club have made it quite clear that if they want to sell then they want to have a replacement.

“If you look at Brentford over the last five years every time they lose a player someone else is coming in.

“I like Neal a lot. He’s one of the best strikers and if he stays it’s going to be fantastic for us but if he leaves then I think the club is going to do something and bring someone else in.”