Liverpool want their next signing this summer to be France and Lyon star Nabil Fekir, but while their first big deal—bringing in Fabinho from Monaco—was done in near total secrecy, a move for Fekir will be far more public.
News of Liverpool’s interest was broken in the French press two weeks ago and has since been confirmed by journalists on Liverpool’s end. The club want the 24-year-old star and are trying to close a deal, of this there is no doubt.
“Will Fabinho be my future team-mate?,” was Fekir’s response when asked about the possibility. “I will discuss my future after the World Cup not before. If I will sign somewhere before the World Cup? Honestly, I don’t know.”
Fekir had just come off a strong performance for France in a World Cup warm-up against Ireland, and that he would be asked about Liverpool was probably inevitable. As was that he would almost certainly not offer a firm answer.
Taken in whole, though, that he doesn’t know if a deal will get done before the World Cup but will speak publicly following it if, presumably, a deal isn’t done at that point does seem to point at there being something in the works.
Though, of course, we know that something is in the works. Liverpool trying to sign him is in the works. Just as clearly, though, Lyon, aren’t interested in doing things quietly—they want to drag it out and maybe even spark a bidding war.
Fekir, meanwhile, isn’t about to go public about any of it if he has a choice given Lyon are his boyhood club and he owes a great deal to both the team and its supporters. So he will be asked and, for now at least, offer non-answers.
It seems likely a deal will get done in the end, and it’s likely it will happen before the World Cup, too—though Liverpool may have to pay a bit more up front to get it done before then—but it won’t be done as quietly and quickly as Fabinho.