FRENCH side OSG Nice are in advanced talk with Saints over the sale of Sofiane Boufal, according to L'Equipe.

Boufal has been away with the Morocco national team to compete in this summer's Africa Cup of Nations.

However, their run came to an end when they were beaten on penalties by Benin in the last 16.

L'Equipe suggests that Ligue 1 outfit Nice have had their £8.5m offer accepted, allowing talks to begin with Boufal's representatives.

It's also claimed that a deal could be completed by the end of the week.

The 25-year-old joined Saints from Lille back in 2016 for a then club-record fee of £16m.

But with his playing chances looking limited under Ralph Hasenhuttl and with the south coast side needing to trim their squad, a sale makes sense.

He spent last season on loan with Celta Vigo and they are said to be keen on taking him back for the upcoming campaign on a temporary basis.

Originally signed by former boss Claude Puel, Boufal went on to make 59 appearances for Saints, scoring just four times.

One of those goals, however, came against West Brom in spectacular fashion.

The Moroccan picked the ball up inside his own half before weaving his way in and out of challenges and slotting his strike into the back of the net.

Given his international duties, along with new signing Moussa Djenepo, they weren't expected back to begin their pre-season in Austria.

The duo are eligible to an extended break in order to recoup for next season.

However, should a move for Boufal go through by the end of the week then it's likely he won't need to return to Staplewood.