Nabil Fekir will be Liverpool’s second new signing of the summer after the club reached a breakthrough in negotiations with Lyon, agreeing a €55M (£48.4M) base fee plus €5M (£4.4M) in add-ons for the player in a deal that could eventually reach €60M (£52.8M).
Liverpool sent a medical team to France in expectation of a completed deal and they will run the rule over the club’s pending new signing at the French national team camp on Friday ahead of their final pre-World Cup friendly against the United States on Saturday.
This news, breaking late on Thursday, caught everyone by surprise given it was only hours earlier that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was making public statements about a deal not being close, claiming the two sides hadn’t even begun to discuss valuation yet.
Aulas’ words, though, were met by Liverpool’s own leaked briefings—the club felt a deal was close, could perhaps even be done before of the World Cup. Then, a few hours later, it was done. All but the medical and official announcement, both now expected on Friday.
Though it may not be announced immediately, the expectation is with Naby Keïta arriving and intending to wear the number eight, Fekir will take the number ten last worn by Philippe Coutinho—a player who Fekir will be expected to fill a similar role to in the squad.
Fekir also won’t be the last transfer business Liverpool do, with widespread and reliable reports that they remain interested in a winger to provide depth—with Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Nigerian international Moses Simon the two most likely options.
The club will also expect to sign a goalkeeper, though whether the budget will allow for the signing of a new number one like Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak or Roma’s Alisson or if a less expensive shot stopper will be brought in to compete with Loris Karius isn’t certain.