Report: Southampton decide against Boufal move

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The 22-year-old, who has been linked with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, is not heading to Southampton, say reports.

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Southampton have decided against a move for Sofiane Boufal, according to L'Equipe.

The talented Lille midfielder has reportedly courted interest from a host of Premier League clubs this summer - including Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, according to The Guardian - but the Saints were said to be leading the way.

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It was reported by L'Equipe last month that Southampton had made contact with Lille over the 22-year-old, but L'Equipe now claim that manager Claude Puel - who knows Boufal from his time in French football - has decided to pull the plug on his interest.

The Morocco international is currently out injured but the report does not indicate why Puel suffered the change of heart regarding Boufal.

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Puel, mentored by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger during their time at Monaco, has never managed outside of France, which has its positives and negatives.

On one hand, the 54-year-old is clearly lacking in Premier League experience, but Puel will have an exceptional knowledge of France-based players.

Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante played huge roles in helping Leicester City win the Premier League last season and, of course, both were bought from French clubs for next to nothing.

Southampton will not win the Premier League next season, but Puel's expertise of French football can aid them in an excellent campaign - if, of course, he does sign players from that part of Europe.

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