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Done Deal: Southampton Sign Ligue 1 Forward For Club-Record £16m

Sofiane Boufal signs for Southampton FC, pictured at The Staplewood Campus, Southampton, 29th August 2016, pictured with Executive Director of Football Les Reed

Southampton have today confirmed the signing of Moroccan international Sofiane Boufal.

The attacking midfielder/winger has signed a five-year deal with the club, and although the fee itself has not been disclosed, and while earlier reports had valued it at near the £21m mark, Sky Sports have today reported it as being £16m

In any event, it is significantly more than the £13m paid for Dani Osvaldo in 2013.

The Moroccan international leaves Lille after just one and a half seasons at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Signed for around €3m from Angers in January 2015, Boufal scored 12 goals in 35 Ligue 1 appearances as Frédéric Antonetti’s side finished fifth in the table and qualified for the Europa League.

Indeed, he will be a player known well to Saints manager Claude Puel as both were in France at the same time.

His performances led to reported interest from clubs such as Arsenal, but Southampton were always determined to get their man.

Sofiane Boufal of Lille during the French Ligue 1 match between Fc Lorient and Lille OSC at Stade du Moustoir on April 30, 2016 in Lorient, France. (Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport via Getty Images) (Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

In a press statement the 22-year-old said of his new club:

“I’m very, very happy to sign for Southampton and I am really excited to play in St Mary’s Stadium in front of the fans.

“Southampton showed big interest in signing me, and I can see that this club is the best place for me to continue my progression as a footballer.

“I hope I can achieve many great things with Southampton. It is a very good club, with excellent facilities, and I feel it is the perfect environment to continue my development.”

Though Boufal will begin training with his new teammates immediately, fans will have to wait a bit longer to see their new signing in action. The league takes a break for the international fixtures, which means that Boufal is likely to be thrown in at the deep end in Southampton’s next game, a trip to the Emirates to play against Arsenal.

Author: The PA Team

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