After multiple claims of a strong Marseille interest in Sofiane Boufal, Tuesday’s L’Equipe made it clear Nice were comfortably in the lead to sign the Southampton player.
The Ligue 1 side were reported to be in ‘advanced negotiations’ with the Saints, and everything pointed towards a ‘very quick deal’ being sorted.
However, Nice-Matin, while not refuting the national newspaper’s claims about the interest or the talks, do have a different timeline in mind for the forward’s arrival.
With the club currently in the process of being taken over by English businessman Jim Ratcliffe, a lot of the transfer business has been put on hold until the change of ownership is complete.
First, they have to go in front of the DNCG, which is the organisation in charge of monitoring the accounts of French professional clubs, on July 25th before needing to hold a meeting with the Competition Authority (France’s national competition regulator).
A date still hasn’t been set for that second rendezvous, but Nice-Matin don’t expect the whole thing to be complete before mid-August at the earliest.
For Nice, this is a bit of a pain since they’re a bit stuck, and it remains to be seen how frustrating this is for Southampton.
While we doubt Ralph Hasenhuttl and co. are in dire need of the €10m being talked about for the transfer, it would be easier for everyone involved if this was done sooner rather than later.
This might give more time for the competition to put together a convincing plan of action in the meantime, but if it’s Marseille, then Nice are safe, as they aren’t in any shape to make big expenditures just yet.