Napoli were Connected with a £40m January transfer move for Brighton and Hove Albion striker Neal Maupay.
It’s been disregarded – and probably rightly so – as “sound” that encircles all clubs in this crazy time year.
But it does beg the question: How much is Neal Maupay worth and whether the bid was genuine, would Brighton be tempted to part with a striker they snapped up for #16m only six short months ago?
A return of £24m in less than a year would certainly tempt those who need to balance the books – particularly as Brighton reported a loss of £21.2m for the 2018/19 season. A wholesome profit on Maupay would clear that with a few shekels left over.
The French-born striker has seven Premier League goals this season and hit the target 28 times in all competitions last season for Brentford.
At 23, Mauapy has plenty of scope for advancement and fits Brighton’s overall transfer policy of purchasing younger players – such as Leandro Trossard and Adam Webster – with enormous potential for around the £20m mark.
A few good seasons at the top level is hugely beneficial for the club on the pitch, while elsewhere the money guys will be hoping their possible sell-on value skyrockets.
It is a business model that makes sense and, if the recruitment is correct, it may sustain a club in the Premier League, while at the same making healthy profits. Southampton have been doing it for years.
Brighton say they have loftier ambitions than to merely tread water at the top level and aim to establish themselves as a top 10 club.
Nobody at the club today took the Maupay gossip seriously and it would indeed seem very strange to see him depart so soon.
The striker, who’s qualified to play for France or Argentina, could easily go on to get between 10-15 goals this season. He copes well with the physical demands and is pretty fiery on the pitch.
He does not have the blistering pace but is certainly fast enough to cause difficulties and at times this year, his finishing has been outstanding.