Saints look to gazump Chelsea in race for ‘next Hazard’ with £25m transfer bid

According to reports from 360 Sport, Southampton have launched a £25million transfer bid for Lille prodigy and Chelsea target Sofiane Boufal.

The 22-year-old emerged as one of the most exciting youngsters in Ligue 1 during the course of last season, notching up eleven goals and four assists in 29 outings.

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Famed for his dribbling ability and having reached talismanic status for Lille, a number of sources – including the Evening Standard – have compared the Moroccan international to Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

In fact, 360 Sport moot the Blues as one of the clubs to have expressed an interest in Boufal, following similar claims made by The Guardian in June.

But according to the Moroccan website, Southampton are hoping to steal a march on their Premier League rivals after tabling a £25million bid for the former Angers youngster.

It’s suggested Boufal is being targeted as a direct replacement for Sadio Mane, who signed for Liverpool in a £34million deal earlier this summer.