Liverpool may have already all but signed Lyon attacker Nabil Fekir—the French press certainly seem to think they have. Lyon, though, aren’t treating the player’s departure as an entirely foregone conclusion. At least not publicly.
“There has been no contact with Liverpool or any other club,” Jean Michel Aulas told SFR Sport today. “We haven’t discussed the future. I know that Nabil, now that we have qualified for the Champions’ League, would like to stay.
“We will discuss things calmly. He has magnificently won the right to go to Russia with France, which gives him an even higher standing. For the moment, nothing is done—you will have to be very, very rich to sign Nabil Fekir this year.”
Still, even if Aulas is claiming a deal isn’t done and they aren’t talking to Liverpool—and even if he’s claiming at the start that he knows Fekir would like to stay at Lyon—it doesn’t mean that the French press are wrong and a deal isn’t on.
It’s worth noting that much of Aulas’ concern isn’t about Fekir’s Lyon future. Instead, it’s about highlighting the player’s value and insisting no deal is done. Or: Fekir is for sale, Aulas just wants to make sure he gets as much as he can.
Lyon have always been a club willing to sell for the right price, and while Liverpool’s goal will be to get a deal done quickly to secure Fekir, it will be in Aulas’ best interest to drag things out unless he believes he’s getting enough in return.
Whether Liverpool are willing to pay enough to get their way with a quick deal or whether this transfer saga is going to run well into June and July should at least become clear following Saturday’s Champions League final.