With less than two weeks of the European transfer window remaining, OGC Nice are still in touch with Southampton regarding a possible deal for Sofiane Boufal, according to Foot Mercato.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is understood to have given him a second chance, but the winger could yet be on his way out if reports from France are to be believed.
Boufal came off the bench in the 3-0 defeat to Burnley in Southampton’s opening fixture of the season, but he was absent from the 18-man squad that was seen off by Liverpool on Saturday.
According to Sebastien Denis of Foot Mercato, Boufal’s ‘desire’ is to return to France this summer.
Twitter: Info : Contact toujours actif entre Sofiane Boufal et Nice. La vente du club étant désormais calée cela pourrait fa… https://t.co/oCjRTgm59W (@sebnonda)
Read Southampton’s verdict
Speculation is still surrounding Boufal, and there’s rarely smoke without fire. If Saints are considering letting him leave, it’d be a rather puzzling decision – especially at this stage of the summer.
Mohamed Elyounoussi seems set to move to Besiktas, while Josh Sims has recently received his visa, confirming his arrival at New York Red Bulls on a short-term loan deal.
Moussa Djenepo signed from Standard Liege earlier in the summer transfer window but allowing another winger to depart while being unable to replace them seems illogical.
Plus, Boufal still has a lot to offer. He showed glimpses of his quality in pre-season and has worked hard to prove himself in recent weeks.
However, Nice are still pushing to sign him, and Patrick Vieira could offer the Morocco international better chances of regular first-team football in France.