Southampton in talks with Lille over Sofiane Boufal
Photo source: BleacherReport

Southampton are in talks with Lille over the transfer of attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal, with the two clubs nearing an agreement.

The 22-year-old had a fantastic season in Ligue One last term and he has been chased by a number of Premier League clubs over the summer. 

Transfer deal close

Southampton reportedly had an offer of €15m rejected last week but the club have since made an improved, as Lille are holding firm on their €20m, with €5m potential future add-ons, valuation of the player. 

A source, who is close to the player, suggests that the two clubs are in advanced negotiations and both confident that the deal will take place before the end of the transfer window. 

The Moroccan international will become Southampton's fifth summer signing if the move goes through. 

Catching the eye of Puel

53-year-old Puel is said to be a huge fan of the player after watching him in the French top flight last season. The manager has apparently tried to push the deal through, after last week's transfer fee rejection. 

Boufal playing against Puel's Nice last season. Photo source:
Boufal playing against Puel's Nice last season. Photo source:

Whilst Puel was managing Nice last term, Boufal went on to score 11 league goals for Lille in the top flight. He is currently recuperating from a knee injury and is likely to be out for another month. 

Puel is likely to be looking for more attacking options to bolster his squad with, as Jay Rodriguez looks set to leave the club on loan before the end of the month.

Fending off the competition

Boufal's fantastic season did not go unnoticed and the youngster has been targeted by a number of high profile clubs already in this window. Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus were all said to be interested in the player. Watford also tried to sign the midfielder at the start of the window but failed in their attempt at purchasing the rising star. 

It has been a brilliant year for the former Angers man, who won 'Best African Player in Ligue 1' last season. He also made his first international appearance for Morocco last year.