Wednesday 15 August 2018

History suggests Liverpool fans should not panic over Lyon's denials that they have agreed to sell Nabil Fekir

Lyon's French midfielder Nabil Fekir being strongly linked with a move to Liverpool
Lyon's French midfielder Nabil Fekir being strongly linked with a move to Liverpool
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has continued to deny his club are about to sell midfielder Nabil Fekir to Liverpool, but history suggests his statements over the last few weeks may be somewhat misleading.

After Lyon's official Twitter account pushed out messages insisting reports of Fekir's imminent move to Liverpool was 'false information', those being told the fine details of the deal have been agreed were left a little confused.

"Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies the false information disseminated by many media about the transfer of Nabil Faulkner to the Liverpool club," read the Lyon statement.

"In this period of transfers where the slightest rumour is often presented as a reality, Olympique Lyonnais recalls that only the information disseminated by the club on its website is authentic."

However, well sourced stories from reporters close to Liverpool suggest the £50m deal to bring Fekir to Anfield is close to being completed, yet Aulas has continued to reject suggestions that he is close to selling his latest big-name star to an English club.

Yet this high-profile club president has a history of dismissing transfer rumours surrounding his players shortly before they make a move, with the deal that saw Arsenal sign striker Alexandre Lacazette last summer and prime example of Aulas spinning media narrative to suit his own club's agenda.

"Olympique Lyonnais categorically deny having received an offer of €48million from Arsenal for the transfer of Alexandre Lacazette, as Le Progres report this morning.

"The club is disappointed that Le Progres didn't go to the effort of contacting us before publishing this false information, which creates confusion on the day the club is publishing its annual figures.

"The reality is that Arsenal made a €35million bid, which Olympique Lyonnais turned down for one reason: l'OL will keep Alexandre Lacazette, who is irreplaceable and who is one of the main leaders in Bruno Genesio's squad."

A few days later, Lacazette was confirmed as an Arsenal player, with the stance from Lyon that he was 'irreplaceable' appearing to change dramatically and very swiftly.

Aulas made similar statements of denials in the days before he sold Michael Essien to Chelsea back in 2005 and he has followed a similar line on several high profile-transfers in recent years, as he appears to revel in the spotlight of being in the centre of high-profile transfers.

The end result looks certain to be Fekir moving to Liverpool, but Aulas is clearly keen to make sure he controls the timing of that announcement.

Online Editors

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