Liverpool’s deal to sign Nabil Fekir, believed to be in its final stages with the player having already conducted his first club interview and selected his shirt number, fell through more than two weeks ago. And ever since, Lyon’s president hasn’t stopped talking about it.
He’s talked alternately about how he’s happy to keep Fekir, how he’d be happy to give the player a new deal, and how other big clubs are interested in him—and after mentioning Real Madrid last week, this week Jean-Michel Aulas is name-dropping Manchester United.
“I spoke with Nabil Fekir the day after we decided to stop negotiations with Liverpool,” Aulas told Le Parisien over the weekend. “He was very calm. I immediately said to him that if he wanted to stay, we could do an extension. I’ve said it before, we don’t need to sell.”
With reliable reports on the English ebd suggesting Liverpool backed out of an otherwise done deal after Fekir underwent a second medical due to concerns over his long-term fitness prospects, that might just about be true—but seems a very positive spin of it.
Where things get a little more worthy of raised eyebrows is when Aulas went then used questions about Fekir as a chance to mention he’d had a series of “long discussions” with Jose Mourinho in recent days, at least seeming to imply that a connection existed.
Similar to when he name dropped Madrid last week, it’s hardly a solid connection—but it does seem Aulas is eager to link him with big money clubs and a potential big money move despite the Liverpool deal falling through and Aulas claiming he’s happy to keep Fekir.
And for Liverpool fans, on the surface at least it should probably be taken as something of a confirmation that it was in fact Liverpool that backed out of the deal earlier in the month, no matter what Aulas claims now about it being him who chose to “stop negotiations.”
Because it’s been made clear since from Fekir’s camp that they still want to do a deal. And Aulas, it seems quite clear, still wants to get a deal done—and if not with Liverpool then with someone. Two of the three parties still seem to be looking to get a Fekir transfer done.
The only one that isn’t, at least for public consumption, is Liverpool. After how willing they were to tell fans of their interest before the deal fell through, if they were still after Fekir it’s difficult to imagine things staying this quiet on their end for as long as they now have.