With the World Cup over, the past few days has seen an uptick in transfer news, and for Liverpool fans there have been a pair of big stories to follow with the club moving for Roma goalkeeper Alisson and whispers that a deal for Lyon attacker Nabil Fekir could be back on.
Given neither deal seemed possible for much of the past month, it’s a mildly surprising turn of events—even knowing the club still wanted to sign players that filled the roles Alisson and Fekir would, that the club could in the end still sign Alisson and Fekir is unexpected.
In the case of Fekir it’s especially surprising given the deal appeared to have broken down due to concerns over his knee and long-term health prospects. Only now we have reports out of France claiming the sides talking again and Lyon have set a deadline for a deal.
What such a deal would look like is, at this stage, highly speculative—and that’s assuming there’s any truth to the idea that it’s actually back on and this isn’t a case of Lyon and owner Jean-Michel Aulas putting stories into the press to protect the value of a player asset.
The general idea, though, is that a deal might be done now—if a deal is done now—that would pay Lyon more than the £58M the two clubs were meant to have agreed to before the deal broke down, but that a significant portion of it would depend on Fekir staying fit.
That previous deal was largely guaranteed money and, based on reports, set to be paid out to Lyon over a short period—two years and two major instalments has been a rumoured fee structure. A new deal would be paid out over the full length of Fekir’s Liverpool deal.
For Liverpool, a longer payment period with a portion of each instalment dependant on Fekir’s health would go some way towards mitigating risk. For Lyon, a higher total transfer fee should the player stay healthy would be the compromise to help secure that.
Or at least that’s the idea behind talk of a supposedly revived Fekir to Liverpool deal, which still seems something of a long-shot but at least may not be the complete impossibility it seemed even a few days ago.