Despite making it clear it was probably for the best if he returned to France this summer, Sofiane Boufal hasn’t exactly been the most in-demand player so far on the transfer market.
Struggling to continue his Lille form at Southampton, the Morocco international was pushed to one side by Mark Hughes last season when the former Stoke manager took over, and his St Mary’s future was immediately shrouded in doubt.
Brief links to Italy failed to provide anything concrete, and neither did the rumours sending him to Marseille in the south of France.
However, that doesn’t mean Boufal doesn’t have any takers, as Le Parisien in France explain on Wednesday that both Nice and Rennes have not been left ‘indifferent’ by the possibility of bringing the forward back to Ligue 1.
The most likely avenue here, according to the French newspaper, would be via a loan with a view to buy, allowing the winner to assess the 24-year-old for a season before deciding to spend a large chunk of their budget to acquire his services permanently.
With Southampton having spent £17m in the first place on Boufal, you’d expect the Premier League side to want to make as much of that back as possible, which represents a considerable investment for French sides.
Having missed out on making Morocco’s World Cup squad, there’s plenty of time to get this over line, which could explain why this hasn’t been an urgent matter over the past month or so.
This isn’t the first time Nice have been linked with Boufal, as Le10 Sport reported back on May 1st that Patrick Vieira’s new club were considering making a move.