Southampton sign Morocco's midfielder Boufal for club-record fee

Reuters , Monday 29 Aug 2016

Sofiane Boufal
Lille's Sofiane Boufal (C) in action against Olympique Marseille's Georges Nkoudou (L) and Paolo De Ceglie (Photo: Reuters)

Southampton have signed attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal from Ligue 1 side Lille on a five-year contract for a club-record fee, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 22-year-old scored 12 goals in 34 appearances for Lille last season, helping them reach the French League Cup final and finish fifth in Ligue 1.

Financial details of the transfer were undisclosed but British media reported that Southampton paid around 16 million pounds ($20.9 million) to land the Moroccan international.

Saints previously broke their record when they paid about 14.6 million pounds ($19.1 million) to secure the services of striker Dani Osvaldo in 2013.

"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," Boufal told the club's website (

"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."

France-born Boufal is the sixth player to arrive at St.Mary's Stadium in the transfer window as manager Claude Puel aims to bolster his attacking force after the departures of Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle.

"At just 22 years of age, he will undoubtedly continue to improve as a player, and we're very pleased that he will be able to make that progression with us here at Southampton," the club's executive director of football Les Reed said.

Southampton, who are yet to taste victory in the league this season, travel to Arsenal in their next game on Sept. 10.

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