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Rumor Mongering: Nabil Fekir May or May Not Be Close to Moving to Anfield

Reports in France are suggesting this deal is happening.

Everton FC v Olympique Lyon - UEFA Europa League
Yeah, we used a picture of him scoring against Everton, what of it?
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Thus far it’s been unusually quiet on the summer transfer rumor front for this time of year. If you cast your minds back twelve months, there was a lot of talk from very well sourced journalists on the Liverpool beat of the likes of Ryan Sessegnon, Julian Brandt, Virgil van Dijk, and Naby Keita. While two of those names eventually signed on the dotted line and joined the reds, deals for Sessegnon and Brandt that we were told were likely never happened. As such, there seems to have been a bit of a lockdown on the club leaking names.

This leads us invariably to sources at the selling club’s end, which today brings the name of one Nabil Fekir. French news organisations Canal+ and RMC Sport claim that a deal has been reached for Liverpool to sign the Lyon attacking midfielder for a price of 70 million Euros (about 62 million UK pounds). The story was initially broken by Canal+ and the RMC report states that they have checked with their sources and it is true.

Over in England the journalists tell a different story, however. The Liverpool Echo state that they “[understand] such reports are wide of the mark”, adding a joke from Jürgen Klopp about these reports breaking during the game. The manager’s ultimate statement was, as usual with transfers, “no comment”. While the Echo haven’t been fed a lot of tips recently, it’s unlikely that their sources at the club would dismiss these reports if they were completely true.

While the reality over our interest in Fekir is unclear, there is no doubting the Frenchman’s talent. Comfortable on either flank or as a central attacking midfielder, Fekir is a very gifted dribbler and passer who contributes both goals and assists. The major red flag would be the ACL injury that ruled him out of the vast majority of the 2015-16 season. While he has successfully recovered and put in good performances since, there would be no guarantee about him remaining fit forever.

It does seem strange that reports in France are so confident that it’s on while Merseyside journalists are so sure it’s not. It’s perhaps possible that negotiations are going on but the French reports jumped the gun and implied it’s all but done, so Liverpool looked to de-escalate the situation. It is also possible that this is all just agent talk and there is no truth in it whatsoever. As always, whatever happens happens.

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