This week reports surfaced in French press that suggested Sofiane Boufal’s time at St Mary’s Stadium was likely over as Nice were said to be close to agreeing on a deal that would see him return to Ligue 1.
Many Southampton fans hoped the 25-year-old Moroccan international would get a second chance under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl despite him being bombed out to Celta Vigo last season following his well covered spat with former manager Mark Hughes, and it seems that may well now happen.
Contrary to the original L’Equipe claims, the Daily Echo reported on Wednesday that their sources within Staplewood had denied that talks were even ongoing with Nice, so naturally there can be no agreement on an £8.5million sale.
With Boufal on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament this summer, although the competition is over for them he’s still on holiday for a bit to recover and rest up properly, but short of further developments, he’ll return soon enough.
It should be noted for those hoping he gets a second chance, the Echo report does suggest Southampton remain open to doing a permanent deal for him – but as of yet, there’s no interest. If he can win Hasenhuttl over quickly, who knows.