Hasenhuttl Prepared To Let Boufal Go
Sunday, 7th Jul 2019 10:59
Sofiane Boufal spent last season on loan at Celta Vigo after falling out with then Saints boss Mark Hughes, but it seems that he is ready to cut his losses in England for a return to France.
There can be no doubt that Sofiane Boufal is a gifted player, indeed he scored perhaps the best goal ever seen at St Mary's when his last minute run from his own half secured Saints a 1-0 win and ultimately the points that meant that we stayed up that season with a little bit of leeway and without the Swansea would have surely made the last day a little more fraught for us.
But although Boufal's 4 goals for Saints were all spectacular in one way or another the problem is he couldn't find any sort of consistency not seemingly score the simple ones.
He fell out with Mark Hughes virtually as soon as the then temporary Saints manager arrives in March 2018 and only played twice for him, playing no part in the final six weeks of that seasom
Hughes appointment full time saw Boufal go out on loan to Celta Vigo and it seems that even with a change of manager the player wants a fresh start.
In fairness to him, Boufal despite his failures on the pitch has always appeared to be trying and his skills as a flare player were perhaps not suited to the way that Saints had to play both in his first season under Claude Puel when injuries and departures meant we had to adopt a defensive formation to protect a weak centre of defence in the second half of the season and in the second when it was a relegation fight.
Olympique de Marseille are being linked with Boufal and with Saints still having a plethora of players who can play out wide on the books including Nathan Redmond, Moussa Djenepo, Josh Sims, Mo Elyounoussi as well as others able to fill the gap if needed, players have to go and Boufal is way down the pecking order.
Saints will be looking to sell rather than another loan and will want to strike the balance between getting as much of the £16 million they spent on Boufal back, but also getting his rumoured £65k off the wage bill.
A balance might have to be struck here to enable the player to leave permanently as he has to take a wage drop.
With two years left on his contract we have a liability of around £7 million in wages and bonus's payable to him and he has a current transfer value of around £10 million.
Saints have to juggle that and that could mean finding a club who will pay the going rate but offer him less money than he is on now, that being the case Saints could use part of the transfer fee as a sweetener to Boufal to take the drop in wages.
THis could be the solution to the problem, for Saints this summer it is threefold, they not only need to bring in money for incoming transfers, but they need to reduce the squad and wage bill as well.
This being the case Boufal is only one of around a dozen players who Saints would take an offer on, ideally we will get rid of the players like Boufal, Clasie and Carrillo, ie those who have played no part last season, but the reality is that other positions will be looked at and that may see the departures of some players who in different circumstances we would like to keep, ie Mario Lemina whos is part of a six man central midfield pool for three places available.
Photo: Action Images
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