Norwich City transfer rumours: Brentford striker will spurn overseas interest for Premier League move

PUBLISHED: 15:07 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 04 June 2019

Neal Maupay in action for Brentford, left, against Norwich City  
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Neal Maupay in action for Brentford, left, against Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Brentford striker Neal Maupay is a reported target for Norwich City this summer – despite the huge fee being suggested for the prolific Frenchman.

The Evening Standard have followed last week's lead from The Sun in suggesting Brighton and promoted teams Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Norwich want the 22-year-old.

That's despite Villa reportedly having a £20million bid turned down in January, as former Brentford boss Dean Smith pursued a reunion with a player he signed for the Bees.

Maupay scored 25 goals in the Championship for the west London side this season, with only Canaries striker Teemu Pukki and Villa's on-loan Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham scoring more.

The Standard add that the former France Under-21 international, who came through at Nice, has his sights set on a move to the Premier League.

They suggest he will not force his way out of Brentford - with two years to run on his contract - and that while there is also interest from France, Germany and Italy, playing in the English top flight remains his target.

VERDICT: There's little doubt Norwich would see Maupay as just the kind of player they would want as competition for first-choice striker Pukki. He works hard, has plenty of pace and enjoyed a prolific campaign.

From all that sporting director Stuart Webber has said in recent months however, there would seem almost no chance that the Canaries would be able to compete for a player valued in the range of £20m.

Maupay is an excellent player, a good age and looks ready for a chance in the Premier League, yet Webber has baulked at the apparent £7m asking price for Jordan Rhodes.

It's been suggested that City's entire transfer budget for this summer will be around £20m, as the club's financial health returns thanks to promotion, allowing Webber to build a stronger future.

Forking out for huge fees doesn't fall into that plan - unless one of Daniel Farke's gems were sold off - but that doesn't seem to be stopping national newspapers from linking Norwich with big-money deals.

In our exclusive interview with Webber last week, City's chief said: "It is like a Premier League tax, when you talk about figures. But the players are still worth the same for me as when we were a Championship club.

"That is when you have to be strong and robust and willing to move onto the next one. I have had to have conversations since we got promoted saying, 'Thanks, in our opinion he is not worth that'.

"How can I bring in a guy who has not been promoted and pay him more than players in our squad who have?"

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