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Liverpool Target Nabil Fekir Unlikely to Be Sold Before the World Cup

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Hopes for an early deal appear to have been dashed by Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Everton FC v Olympique Lyon - UEFA Europa League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Liverpool have made signing Nabil Fekir, Lyon’s versatile 24-year-old attacker, a top priority and had hoped to get a deal done before the World Cup. There had been some speculation that a deal might even be done within the week.

That appears nearly impossible now, following a statement released on Lyon’s official website by club president Jean-Michel Aulas, saying negotiations between Lyon and Liverpool are at a standstill and no deal is imminent.

“The talks are not moving forward,” he said. “There is no progress at all. The situation will certainly not change during the World Cup and I do not think there is any chance before it. We have not set a price or even discussed one yet.”

This would appear to be a reaction to widespread reports in France and England that there had been movement in recent days—that Fekir had made it clear he only wanted a Liverpool move and that Aulas was growing more receptive.

Aulas has a reputation for being a difficult negotiator, and Liverpool’s difficulties in sealing a deal for Fekir despite the player’s desire to get a move done—in contrast to the way Fabinho was secured from Monaco—is proving it well earned.

Despite that, Liverpool had reportedly been hopeful of finding a way to close the deal before the World Cup kicked off, and while there’s time there’s still a chance. That chance, though, looks much diminished now.