Tuesday 21 August 2018

Liverpool to reassess list of transfer targets after calling off Nabil Fekir move

Nabil Fekir will not be moving to Liverpool (John Walton/PA)
Nabil Fekir will not be moving to Liverpool (John Walton/PA)

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool will reassess their list of targets to replace Philippe Coutinho after calling off the £53 million deal for Lyon’s Nabil Fekir.

The French side issued a statement on Saturday confirming the end of negotiations with the Merseyside club. That was a direct response to Liverpool’s decision to pull out of the deal 24 hours earlier.

Liverpool informed Lyon on Friday they were not going ahead as scheduled following Fekir’s medical, despite a fee and personal terms being agreed. There was no attempt from Liverpool to renegotiate terms.

The last 48 hours represent a significant setback in Jurgen Klopp’s summer transfer plans – especially as so much progress was made convincing the 24-year-old midfielder to move to Liverpool and in agreeing a fee with Lyon.

The blow is compounded by the fact one of Liverpool’s alternative targets to take the ten jersey vacated by Coutinho, West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini, suffered a cruciate ligament injury when training with Argentina last week.

Liverpool drew up a list of possible replacements after Coutinho's sale to Barcelona in January and felt Fekir was the ideal attacking midfield recruit.

Although there has been no indication from Liverpool of the nature of the late hitch, the circumstances are self-evident. The fact everything was agreed pending the outcome of the medical explains when complications arose. There are confidentiality issues preventing details of medical examinations being made public so there will be no confirmation from either side as to what caused the rethink.

What is a matter of record is Fekir suffered a serious knee injury three years ago, and also underwent a minor knee procedure last March. There is no surprise Liverpool would have been examining this closely given Fekir's injury issues.

It would be impossible for a club’s medical team to recommend a deal proceed – especially one so expensive - if there are concerns a previous or existing problem will flare up again.

Online Editors

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