Sheffield United face competition from Aston Villa in the race to sign Brentford striker Neal Maupay, reports the Sheffield Star.

Like the Blades, Villa secured their place in the Premier League for next season with victory over Derby County in the playoff final.

Now they will be looking to improve their squad and a reunion between Maupay and manager Dean Smith appears likely. Smith signed the Frenchman for the Bees back in 2017.

They had a good working relationship, which ended last October when the Villans appointed the 48-year-old as their new boss.

Maupay was quickly linked with a move to Villa Park himself and admitted in December it would interest him.

“If you’re in England, you want to play in the Premier League. That’s obvious. So one day I’d like to play in the Premier League,” the 22-year-old told the Independent.

“I have a really, really good relationship with Dean. So obviously if one day he calls me and says ‘Neal, I need you in my team’ I would consider it.

“Obviously, I really liked working for him, so if one day he wants to bring me to Villa or wherever I would listen to him because he has done a lot of good things for me.”

(Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

How much would he cost?

Maupay was linked with a switch to Villa during the January transfer window. However, Sky Sports reported that it would take an offer in excess of £20m for it to happen.

Whether that asking price remains is unknown, but Maupay is under contract at Griffin Park until 2021.

The Blades are known to be interested in the France Under-21 international themselves. Yet whether Chris Wilder could convince Maupay to choose Bramall Lane over Birmingham is doubtful.

The one thing possibly in his favour is that two former Brentford players – John Egan and Jack O’Connell – have become key figures since moving to South Yorkshire.

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