Liverpool Transfer News: Nabil Fekir Talks Resumed in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

Lyon's French forward Nabil Fekir (R) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lyon (OL) and Angers (ASCO) on January 14, 2018, in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, central-eastern France.  / AFP PHOTO / ROMAIN LAFABREGUE        (Photo credit should read ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool have reportedly opened talks with Olympique Lyonnais again over a potential transfer for star player Nabil Fekir.

According to John Richardson of the Sunday Mirror, while the proposed transfer collapsed at the start of June, there's hope the deal can be restructured again.

Liverpool were reportedly concerned about a knee problem Fekir suffered in 2015 when conducting his medical and attempted to renegotiate the terms of the transfer. Lyon then released a statement saying the deal was off.

Richardson suggested Fekir was on the brink of making the switch to Anfield before the plug was pulled:

"It can be revealed that the 24-year-old attacking midfielder had almost put pen to paper and had undertaken an unveiling interview with the club's in-house television station, LFC TV. [Manager Jurgen] Klopp believes Fekir is the final piece in his new-look midfield, one that also contains summer signings Naby Keita and Fabinho."

As Get French Football News noted, the speculation about the talks' resumption have not been covered in Fekir's homeland:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Nothing at all in France tonight to support claims emanating from the English press about a supposed attempt from Liverpool to restart negotiations with Lyon for Nabil Fékir.

If the £53 million move can be struck up again, it would be to the delight of many Liverpool supporters. Fekir has proved himself as one of the finest players in Ligue 1 in recent seasons. Squawka Football provided the numbers behind his excellent 2017-18 campaign:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Nabil Fekir's 2017/18 Ligue 1 season by numbers: 30 games 99 crosses 90 take-ons 89 shots 59 chances created 18 goals 8 assists 5 goals outside the box Remind you of anyone? 🔴 https://t.co/Sb29EXhgh8

The injury Fekir suffered three years ago did look set to have a detrimental impact on his development, as he struggled to recapture the form he had showcased before the knock. But the evidence is that the Lyon star is now over the issue.

Playing as a No. 10 or a second striker last season, Fekir was the attacking heartbeat of a vibrant Lyon team. In a position that requires tight control, an eye for a pass and excellent decision-making, Fekir excelled for the Ligue 1 outfit.

Fekir continues to be linked with a move to Liverpool.
Fekir continues to be linked with a move to Liverpool.Christophe Ena/Associated Press

With all that in mind, Liverpool supporters were naturally saddened when the deal fell through. However, Sachin Nakrani of the Guardian was maintaining perspective:

Sachin Nakrani @SachinNakrani

If Liverpool have totally missed out on Fekir, it’s a blow but hardly catastrophic. Also, shouldn’t be forgotten Naby Keita was signed LAST summer and Fabinho has also arrived. Not even July yet. All good. Lots to be positive about. Up Ragnar’s Red Army.

Nevertheless, the prospect of Fekir linking with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is tantalising, so there will be hope there is some veracity to Richardson's report.

As football writer Joel Rabinowitz noted, although Fekir did suffer a serious injury, he hasn't missed too many games since his return:

Joel Rabinowitz @joel_archie

Fekir's injury history at Lyon: 2015-16: ACL rupture, missed 39 games 2016-17: Knee injury, missed 3 games 2017-18: Knee injury, missed 7 games

It would be a big surprise if negotiations started again immediately; Fekir is involved in France's bid to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He entered Les Bleus' thrilling 4-3 win over Argentina as a substitute on Saturday. His side will face Uruguay next with a semi-final spot on the line.

Liverpool have attacking class and midfield quality in abundance, so Fekir's capture would not be necessary. However, if the Reds are going to challenge for the Premier League title and potentially push for the UEFA Champions League again, it's that calibre of player they need to be eyeing up.


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