Will Grigg: Walsall boss Dean Smith keen to keep top scorer

Walsall boss Dean Smith says he is still hoping to keep Will Grigg to end a six-month long battle to hold on to last season's top scorer.

In the wake of Fabien Brandy's move to Sheffield United, fellow striker Grigg is being linked with Brentford.

"He's spoken to other teams as I would expect him to with his contract being up and him having representatives working for him," Smith told BBC WM.

"But I'm quite hopeful that Will sees his immediate future at this club."

Grigg among the goals

After being thumped 5-1 at Coventry on 8 December, to slip into potential relegation danger, Walsall transformed their season over the next three months, losing just twice in 15 matches to climb into League One play-off contention. Will Grigg played a big role, scoring 16 goals in 21 games before being hampered by a late season injury.

Smith added: "We want to keep developing Will and help him become the player we think he can and we're close to tying something up."

Walsall would be due a fee for the 21-year-old Northern Ireland international, who hit 20 goals last term.

Losing the two players who helped transform the Saddlers' season from relegation favourites to play-off contenders, having finished ninth, would be a blow.

But Smith has already admitted that he has plans in place to bring in replacements if Grigg does follow Brandy out of the door at Bescot.

Meanwhile, Walsall defender Ben Purkiss has agreed a new one-year deal at the Banks's Stadium.

The right-back has made 30 appearances since arriving from Hereford United last summer.

"Ben did really well for us last season," said Smith. "He's a good character to have around the club."