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Aston Villa set to step up pursuit of Brentford's Neal Maupay

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The Villans have already spent close to £100m

Aston Villa are set to step up their pursuit of Brentford striker Neal Maupay, according to 90min.

The West Midlands outfit have been busy during this summer's transfer window, acquiring eight new players as they gear up for a fresh assault on the Premier League after four seasons out of the top-flight.

Villa have signed attacking midfielders Jota and Anwar El Ghazi on a permanent basis, alongside defenders Tyrone Mings and Matty Targett and Maupay's former Brentford team-mate - defender Ezri Konsa.

Brazilian forward Wesley has also joined from Club Brugge for a club-record fee of £22.5m.

Maupay, who found the net 28 times in 49 appearances for Brentford last season, was sent home prematurely from the Bees' recent pre-season tour of Austria in order to 'clear his head' amid speculation linking him with a move away from Griffin Park.

Sheffield United are also reportedly interested in capturing Maupay's signature ahead of the new campaign, though a move to Villa would be viewed as more appealing considering the amount they have invested in their squad this summer.

The Frenchman also worked under current Villa boss Dean Smith during his time in charge of Brentford, so is no stranger to the 48-year-old.

The sticking point, however, seems to be Brentford's £20m valuation of their prized asset.

Neither Villa or Sheffield United have come close to matching that with previous bids, and with Chris Wilder instead turning his attentions to signing striker Lys Mousset from Bournemouth for £10m - effectively ending their interest in Maupay - the 22-year-old will remain put in south west London until at least January, should Villa fail to return with a serious offer in the coming weeks.

It will be extremely interesting to see how Aston Villa fare next term considering the vast amount of cash they have splashed in recent months.

Dean Smith looks to have completed some shrewd business on paper, though as we witnessed first-hand last season with Fulham, just throwing money at new signings is not always beneficial when talking about Premier League success.