Lyon end negotiations with Liverpool over Nabil Fekir transfer

The FC crew analyse the major curveball thrown by Lyon as they ended negotiations with Liverpool over the transfer of Nabil Fekir.
With Nabil Fekir-to-Liverpool all but done, Julien Laurens describes what kind of player he is and where he’d be best suited in Jurgen Klopp’s XI.
ESPN’s Liverpool correspondent Glenn Price discusses why Nabil Fekir would be the player to finally replace Philippe Coutinho.

LIVERPOOL, England — Lyon indicated on Saturday that captain Nabil Fekir will be staying at the club after breaking off transfer negotiations with Liverpool.

Lyon later removed the team statement announcing the news from the club’s website and Twitter account.

A source told ESPN FC on Thursday that Liverpool were confident about securing a €60 million deal for the France international, despite earlier comments from Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas that no transfer would be concluded before the World Cup.

The club hoped they would be in a position to confirm the switch on Friday, with an image of Fekir’s introductory interview with Liverpool’s TV channel being leaked on social media.

But Lyon released a statement on Saturday evening saying that they were looking forward to having the attacking midfielder with them for the upcoming campaign.

“Lyon is announcing that the negotiations with Liverpool and Nabil Fekir for the transfer of the Lyon captain have not succeeded and Lyon have decided to put an end to the negotiations tonight at 8 p.m,” the statement read.

“Although Liverpool have been Nabil’s priority among a number of offers from ambitious clubs, Lyon are overjoyed that they can count on the presence of their captain, who will be a significant part of their 2018-19 season as they enter the Champions League after finishing in third.”

Liverpool declined to comment when contacted by ESPN FC.

Jurgen Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards were particularly keen on concluding a deal for Fekir before the 24-year-old headed off to the World Cup with the France squad.

Didier Deschamps’ team will fly to Russia after Saturday’s 1-1 friendly draw with the United States in Lyon.

Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.