Watford make £16million bid for in demand starlet

Watford have jumped ahead of their London rivals in the race to sign Lille’s Sofiane Boufal, reports Squawka.

The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the English capital, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs all supposedly keen on the attacking midfielder.

However, it’s Watford who have taken the first step to bringing him to the Premier League, after launching a £16.7million bid.

Boucle played in 29 Ligue 1 fixtures last season, netting 11 times as Lille finished 5th, just outside a UEFA Europa League spot.

New Hornets boss Walter Mazzarri is keen on bringing him to Vicarage Road, with many in Lille likening him to their former star Eden Hazard. Boufal can play out wide or down the middle, making him a useful player for a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Lille have not responded to the bid yet according to Squawka, but even if the move happens, it’s a doubt Boufal could feature in Watford’s first fixture of the new season. The youngster had knee surgery in May, and would be a doubt to play for the Hornets away at Southampton on August 13th.