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Watford edge closer to deal for Sofiane Boufal

Watford are understood to be progressing well in their ambitious attempt to sign Sofiane Boufal, the hot prospect from Lille.

A senior representative from the club, believed to be chief executive Scott Duxbury, sat down this week with the player who the French club value at €20m. Personal details are thought to have been agreed with the Moroccan playmaker, 22, who has emerged as Lille’s successor to Eden Hazard.

Sofiane Boufal (Lille)

Walter Mazzarri will be given the final say on the transfer after assessing this week in Austria if this group of Watford players are best suited to 3-5-2 or a 3-4-1-2. The word from Vicarage Road is that Boufal, who scored 12 goals last season, is being lined up to play behind two strikers in a 3-4-1-2. There is an equally exciting alternative target lined up to play in the more advanced midfield role of a 3-5-2 system.

Watford signalled their intent to add a high-class playmaker to their ranks early in the summer by moving for Roberto Pereyra who looks to be on his way out of Juventus. However, the Hornets pulled out of the running for the Argentine.

Lille OSC v Paris Saint-Germain - Ligue 1

Boufal is of similar ilk and is thought to be attracting interest from Tottenham, Southampton, Sevilla, Arsenal, Chelsea and German Bundesliga clubs. He is recovering from knee surgery and amid the Premier League’s disciplinary crackdown this week, Boufal will need to clean up an act that saw him sent off twice and booked 11 times in 34 appearances.