EPL Transfer Rumours: Chelsea could scupper Arsenal's move for Sofiane Boufal
Boufal had an incredible season or Lille in Ligue 1 last season.
Moroccan international Sofiane Boufal has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Lille, and his impressive performances haven’t gone unnoticed. The 22-year-old has been repeatedly linked to Barcelona, Liverpool, and Paris-Saint Germain, whilst reports in the English media suggest Arsenal are also keen on signing the Ligue 1 star.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, however, could hijack any deal for Boufal, Le 10 Sport reports. The French website reckon Lille want at least €20m for their star player, who 12 goals and 4 assists to his name this season.
His agent, Yvan Le Mee, has been speaking to Le 10 Sport and revealed he already had discussions with Barcelona. “We did have a meeting with the leadership of FC Barcelona in the last few weeks.There is an interest,” Le Mee told Le10 Sport. “Now the reflection is whether Sofiane Boufal will go to Barcelona to compete with MSN (Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar) or should he go to a club where he is going to start matches and express his exceptional talent.
“We have also initiated discussions with three other clubs that interest us, but they either have or will change their coach or the coach is in charge of a national team at the Euros. In England, there is interest, but the English market is just beginning. A transfer of 20 and 25 million euros is not resolved in two weeks, of course.”
Chelsea face some serious competition and might find it difficult to convince Boufal to sign for them as Barcelona are seriously interested. The Blues don’t even have Champions League football to offer next season, so that could also be a stumbling block.
English daily The Guardian reports that Arsenal and Chelsea are both willing to meet Lille’s asking price, and it does seem Boufal has several options on the table. The player signed for Lille at the start of the season in a €3m deal and has another three years left on his contract at the Ligue 1 club.
Also read: Arsenal confirm teenager's loan transfer
Meanwhile, Chelsea conducted a meeting recently to decide the future of French youngster Jeremie Boga. The 19-year-old spent the season on loan at Rennes but managed just over 1200 minutes of football throughout the season.
French newspaper L’Equipe say Chelsea have decided to send him out on loan again, but to a different club. L’Equipe have also categorically ruled out a move to Vitesse Arnhem, with the player attracting interest from clubs in Ligue 1, Bundesliga and La Liga.