Sofiane Boufal has returned to pre-season training with Southampton although he continues to be linked with a move away from the club. The Morocco international was granted an extended break after representing his country at this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, but he has now linked up with part of the Saints squad at their pre-season training base in Dublin.
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Boufal was deemed surplus to requirements by former Saints boss Mark Hughes last summer and he spent the 2018-19 campaign on loan at Celta Vigo in La Liga. The 25-year-old has yet to even meet current Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who is due to return with the rest of the squad from China on Wednesday. However, it seems Hasenhuttl is willing to give Boufal a chance to earn a place back in the Southampton first team, although there are no guarantees he will still be a Saints player when the transfer window slams shut.
A number of clubs have been linked with making a move for Boufal, including French giants Marseille, who are reportedly willing to offer around £8million for the playmaker, although Southampton are likely to reject that bid as they are looking to recoup as much of the £16million they paid Lille for his services as they can.