Nabil Fekir will not be a Liverpool player, at least if Lyon’s statement this afternoon is to be taken at face value after the French club announced that negotiations with Liverpool had ended in failure and that he would remain.
“Negotiations with Liverpool Football Club and Nabil Fekir for the transfer of the captain of OL have not succeeded,” read their statement. “Olympique Lyonnais has decided to put an end to this negotiation tonight at 20h.
“Although Liverpool had been the priority for a possible transfer of Nabil, Olympique Lyonnais is delighted to be able to count on the presence of the club’s captain who is now returning for this 2018/2019 season.”
A deal to bring Fekir to Liverpool appeared completed on Thursday after the two sides agreed a £54 transfer fee for the 24-year-old star, but the medical the player underwent on Friday is believed led to doubts on Liverpool’s end.
Liverpool representatives flew to France in an attempt to hammer out a new deal, and on Saturday the president of the French Football Federation said Fekir was still “confident” of the deal going through in the end.
That confidence appears to have been misplaced, and though there is no official word on exactly what took place behind the scenes, the safe assumption is that Lyon refused to budge on their asking price or the deal’s structure.
Barring a late change, then—and there have been enough twists and turns in this transfer saga it might well be foolish to rule anything out—Nabil Fekir to Liverpool is now off the table.