Aston Villa and Sheffield United were strongly linked with the new Brighton and Hove Albion recruit.

Neal Maupay has explained why he joined Brighton and Hove Albion amid interest, too, from Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

Both Aston Villa and Sheffield United were strongly linked with moves for the former Brentford striker, for whom Brighton eventually paid more than €20 million (around £18.5m) according to L’Equipe.

And asked about his decision by the same publication this week, Maupay replied: “Two years ago, Brighton already wanted to recruit me but I chose to sign in Brentford, in Championship, because I wanted to play. But Brighton continued to follow me and when I knew that the club had changed coach in May, taking (Graham Potter) from Swansea, I thought it might be the right time.

“I really like how Graham Potter plays his teams. With Brentford, I played three times against him last season – we lost three times – and I really enjoyed the game of the opponent. I met him a few weeks ago, he told me about his project, how he intended to use me. After this discussion, it was very clear in my mind: I wanted to go to Brighton. And then, here, I find the sea like in Nice. It counts.”

Both Aston Villa and Sheffield United have added to their centre-forward options this summer, with the Villans landing Wesley Moraes and the Blades bringing in both Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie.

And whether or not either Villa or United were still pursuing Maupay at the time of his move to Brighton remains to be seen.

Although it seems strange that the Frenchman would choose to play for Potter over his former Brentford boss, Dean Smith, given the chance.

Fans of Aston Villa and Sheffield United – do you buy Maupay’s reasoning?

In other news, £18m star reacts following Leeds links; he’s a fan of Liverpool