Tuesday 21 August 2018

Lyon 'categorically deny' reports Nabil Fekir will complete Liverpool move this week

Nabir Fekir came close to joining Liverpool in June
Nabir Fekir came close to joining Liverpool in June

Lyon have officially denied that Nabil Fekir is on the verge of joining Liverpool.

It is understood the France international is set to move to Anfield in a deal worth an initial £60million. He would join Monaco's Fabinho and RB Leipzig's Naby Keita as new arrivals this summer.

Boss Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards are keen to get the deal done before Les Bleus head to Russia for the World Cup - as is national team boss Didier Deschamps - and made a significant breakthrough in negotiations with the French club on Thursday.

But in a surprising move the Ligue 1 side have publicly moved to claim that any deal for the player's transfer is not yet agreed.

"The information on the transfer of Nabil Fekir is false," they said in a Twitter post on Friday morning.

"Olympique Lyonnais categorically denies the false information disseminated by many media about the transfer of Nabil Fekir to Liverpool.

"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."

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Fekir has made it clear to all parties involved – with the help of Jean-Pierre Bernès, the highly influential agent from Marseille – that he does not see his future anywhere other than Merseyside.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas holds the same sort of status as Daniel Levy, the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur – someone determined and experienced enough to command prime fees for whomever he sells.

That said, sources remain confident the deal will still get done with suggestions the delay could be due to the fact that the French national team play the United States in their final pre-tournament friendly on Saturday evening in Lyon, with Fekir likely to feature.

With Fabinho joining last week and Keita arriving from RB Leipzig after a deal was done last summer, Klopp is already a long way down the road of strengthening a squad which started to feel the effects of injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip on their run to the Champions League final.

Stoke's Xherdan Shaqiri remains a player of interest due to his low buy-out clause of £12million while teammate Jack Butland and Roma goalkeeper Alisson are also on Klopp's radar.

The German wants the bulk - if not all - of the transfer business done before players report back for pre-season training on July 2.

Independent News Service

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