Nabil Fekir Reportedly Expects Lyon Exit Amid Chelsea, Bayern Munich Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2018

LYON, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 07:  Nabil Fekir of Olympique Lyonnais in action during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Olympique Lyonnais and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Groupama Stadium on November 7, 2018 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Lyon playmaker Nabil Fekir reportedly expects to leave the club next summer amid speculation linking him with Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

According to L'Equipe's Bilel Ghazi (h/t the Mirror's Mark Jones), Fekir has told Lyon he will not sign a new contract with the club and is eyeing a potential exit at the end of the season, when he will be in the final year of his deal.

Per Jones, Fekir came close to joining Liverpool in the summer. The Reds put the brakes on his transfer at the last minute because concerns regarding his knee, and it's unclear if they will rekindle their interest in him, but Chelsea and Bayern have since been "strongly linked."

Fekir missed 39 matches of the 2015-16 season after he ruptured his right cruciate ligament. Across the following two seasons, he missed a further 10 games because of knee-related complaints.

However, in 10 appearances for Lyon this season, Fekir has notched four goals and as many assists. Having spent a total of 666 minutes on the pitch, he has contributed one or the other every 83 minutes on average.

Half of them have come on football's biggest stage:

OptaJean @OptaJean

50% - Nabil Fekir 🇫🇷 has been involed in 4 goals in the Champions League 🏆 this season (2 goals, 2 assists), which means 50% of Lyon's goals. Captain. #OLHOF https://t.co/bv45TMxT9W

The Frenchman particularly caught the eye in Lyon's UEFA Champions League match against Manchester City in September, when he produced a superb performance to help his side record a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium:

Squawka Football @Squawka

@willgeorgejourn Nabil Fekir's game by numbers vs. Man City: 45 touches 5 fouls won 3 chances created 3 shots 3 tackles won 2 aerial duels won 2 shots on target 2 take-ons 1 assist 1 goal Looks like that knee is alright to slide on. 😉 https://t.co/mzHvQpv8Jx

His ability to create and take chances would make him an impressive acquisition for virtually any side, Chelsea and Bayern included.

The Blues could look to him if they were to lose Eden Hazard, as he can be a similarly inspiring force in the final third, though he would not be a direct replacement because Fekir plays in a central supporting role rather than as a pacey outlet on the left.

Meanwhile, at Bayern, he could be an alternative to James Rodriguez, as the Colombia international has not quite nailed down a starting role under Niko Kovac, having been benched for half of their 14 combined Bundesliga and Champions League matches this season.

The 25-year-old has spent his entire senior career with Lyon, but he has shown himself ready to make the step up and join one of Europe's elite. If the French side can't tie him down to a new deal, bringing in a fee for him in the summer is probably the best course of action.