Neal Maupay explains why he joined Brighton despite interest from Aston Villa and Sheffield United

Brentford's Neal Maupay scores the opening goal  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Leeds United at Griffin Park on April 22, 2019 in Brentford, England.

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

Neal Maupay of Brentford celebrates scoring the 2nd brentford during the  Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Wigan on September 15, 2018 in Brentford, England.

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."

Graham Potter, head coach of Brighton during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion at EBB Stadium on July 20, 2019 in Aldershot, England.

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.

Dean Smith head coach of Aston Villa gestures during the pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Aston Villa at Red Bull Arena on August 03, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany.

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?

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