We’re on the cusp of a Xherdan Shaqiri photoshoot at Melwood. Club-connected journalists are hinting that the Swiss winger could be signing for Liverpool this week. Shaqiri has his positives and very well could have an Oxlade-Chamberlain style resurgence under Jürgen Klopp but the Stoke City man just can’t quite compete with the always-hovering Nabil Fekir.
Fekir’s move to Anfield bottomed out at the last second. He was so close. He did the medical. He did the photo shoot. He was shaking hands and being welcomed to Liverpool. But a passed knee injury suddenly gave the medical team pause and you know the rest. It didn’t end up with Fekir signing a blank piece of Liverpool letterhead in front of a camera.
David Maddock in The Mirror has claimed that Liverpool attempted to renegotiate the deal with Lyon’s president Jean Michel Aulas, hoping to restructure the agreement based on concerns of the strength of Fekir’s knee long-term. Then apparently Aulas shut the whole thing down. Aulas has a reputation for being a difficult negotiator, so it’s not all that surprising. But new reports also suggest that Lyon’s president has a soft spot for the romantic side of the game and may be willing to sit down at the table again with Liverpool in order to allow Fekir a move of dreams.
Fekir has reportedly been in Aulas’ ear a couple of times while in Russia. The France international has urged Aulas to work with Michael Edwards to come to an agreement once the World Cup is over.
French reporter Loïc Tanzi has also suggested that Nabil Fekir still has a chance of moving to Liverpool before the transfer window shuts.
“According to what I’ve been told,” said Tanzi, “Fekir had had an agreement with Liverpool for a long time now, and it’s the club where he wanted to be playing next year.
“Everything had been sorted but the minor details – in transfers, the fee is often very quickly sorted out, but the small clauses take up a lot of time to negotiate, the ones that involve an amount being paid based on appearances for the national team, for example. All of that was sorted towards the end, right before he left for Russia.
“Then the Liverpool medical team came to Clairefontaine to conduct the medical, and it’s at that point that the sources diverge. We know that Liverpool at that point stopped discussing the transfer, even though up until that point they had been quite open about it.
“Some sources say that the medical had not gone well because of his knee issues, although that would surprise me; I don’t see why he can go play a World Cup with a bad knee but not for Liverpool next season.
“Others say that it’s because either his agent or Jean-Michel Aulas asked for more money towards the end. It’s hard to know who’s telling the truth.
“What I’m sure of, is that that the saga isn’t over. Liverpool will come back for Fekir at the end of the World Cup because he’s a player that Klopp’s been interested in for a while.”
Expect this one to go the distance.