RALPH Hasenhuttl admitted Sofiane Boufal could leave Saints before the end of the transfer window.

The Morocco international was left out of the matchday 18 for Saturday's Premier League opener at Crystal Palace, with youngster Nathan Tella preferred among the substitutes.

Boufal was Saints' club-record signing when he arrived from Lille for £16million in 2016.

He has netted five goals in 84 appearances for the club, but spent the 2018-19 campaign on loan at Celta Vigo.

Boufal returned to the fold under Hasenhuttl last season, featuring 25 times, most recently in the 3-0 win at Norwich in June.

But having not been included at Selhurst Park, the 26-year-old's time at the club could be nearing an end.

Asked why Boufal was not part of the squad for the 1-0 defeat, Hasenhuttl said: "We try to force our young lads. Nathan Tella was in this squad and we want to give him a chance to be with us as a team. These guys are the future for this club.

"We have a few guys who can still move (in this transfer window). Maybe he (Boufal) is one of those, yes."