The France international appeared on the verge of making a switch to Anfield until Lyon released a statement saying they'd pulled out of a transfer.
When asked about the saga by RT France (h/t David Maddock of the Daily Mirror), Aulas said he was the one who put an end to any deal with Liverpool and suggested the Reds may face some serious competition for the Lyon skipper.
"The fact that things didn't conclude with Liverpool and it didn't happen in that timeframe has piqued the interest of a lot of other clubs—Real Madrid, but not just Real Madrid and their new trainer [Julen Lopetegui]," he said. "There is a lot of interest from other camps, so everything is possible."
Aulas went on to say that despite the interest from Merseyside and Madrid, he would now like to see Fekir stay with Lyon beyond this summer: "The players are like sons to me and I hope to persuade him to stay."
Maddock added that Liverpool feel the deal may yet be resurrected and provided the following update on Twitter:
David Maddock @MaddockMirror
Lyon president claims REAL MADRID have joined the race for Nabil Fekir. Jean-Michel Aulas confirms he will allow Fekir to leave if he demands to go. Sources close to the player suggest he is STILL keen on @LFC move, and is confident deal can be resurrected https://t.co/A3dNKZs7OV
There was tremendous disappointment among the Reds fanbase when Lyon called off this transfer, as Fekir has many positive attributes in his game.
The Lyon forward enjoyed a particularly prosperous 2017-18. At the hub of an attacking side, he was the man who knitted everything together, playing behind the centre-forward and causing damage to opposition defences.
Fekir has incredible technique, is clever in his movement and when he does wriggle into good positions, he tends to make smart decisions.
As these figures illustrate, he's productive:
If Madrid were sincerely interested, then it may pose issues for Liverpool if they do have hopes of getting a deal done.
After all, Los Blancos are not only one of the biggest clubs in the world, they're a dominant force in European football at the moment. They beat Liverpool in the final of the UEFA Champions League in May to be crowned kings of the continent for a third successive season and for the fourth time in five years.
As noted by blogger UltraSuristic, there have been links between Fekir and Madrid previously:
He's not the type of footballer Los Blancos are crying out for, though, especially when they have the likes of Isco and Marco Asensio on their books already.
Nevertheless, if there is interest, it's only going to represent another obstacle for Liverpool to overcome in what is becoming one of the biggest transfer stories of the summer. Having come so close to landing the Frenchman, the Reds now appear further away than ever.