Indykaila: Liverpool hope to seal Fekir deal before preseason tour

Their initial plans to snap up the Lyon schemer were stymied by squabbles over the fee, but the Anfield club remain hopeful of sealing the deal soon....

A Liverpool source says talks have resumed between the Merseysiders and Olympique Lyon for the French playmaker, and that the Reds are hopeful a deal will be done before their US preseason tour, though Fekir’s knee issues could still be a stumbling block. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is anxious to bring in some more big name signings before the start of the new Premier League season. The Merseyside giants have already secured central midfield star Nabi Keita from RB Leipzig for £54M and Brazilian enforcer Fabinho from Monaco for just over £40M.

Klopp, however, wants to create a regular supply-line to his devastating attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, and the player he is courting above all others is Lyon’s attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir.

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It looked as though he’d got his hands on the French international last month, Fekir even recording an interview for LFC TV in Liverpool colours, but the move dramatically collapsed at the eleventh hour with Lyon claiming the Reds had tried to get a discount on the agreed £53M transfer fee.

Liverpool said that they were simply concerned about his medical results, Fekir undergoing surgery for a serious knee injury picked up on international duty three years ago.

Klopp is still looking to find an adequate replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who departed for Barcelona in January, and the Lyon star has always been top of his summer shopping list. The French international has also made no secret of the fact he wants to join the Anfield giants after a proposed move in January also hit the buffers.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s £88M move to Juventus on Tuesday has fuelled speculation that Argentine play-maker Paulo Dybala will now make a move away from Turin. The 24-year-old has been linked with moves to both Barcelona and Real Madrid and the latest reports from the UK suggest that Liverpool have now joined the race for his signature.

Not so according to our Anfield sources, who claim that Fekir is still the man to fill Coutinho’s shoes as Klopp looks to mount a serious assault on the Premier League title. Lyon patron Jean-Michel Aulas recently stated that “Nabil will be at OL next season,” claiming that he has an “almost father-son relationship” with his players.

Aulas also admitted that Fekir was allowed to talk to Liverpool because they were “his dream club,” but has been reluctant to give his captain another bite at the cherry.

So what makes Fekir such a special player? Well, 18 goals in 30 Ligue 1 appearances last season is an impressive statistic given that he missed a month of the campaign with yet another knee injury, and he was also impressive in his side’s Europa League campaign, before their elimination at the hands of CSKA Moscow in the round of 16.

Fekir has also been part of the French World Cup squad in Russia, but has only accrued a total of 59 minutes as Didier Deschamps side head into Sunday’s final in Moscow.

There are also danger signs coming from down the East Lancs Road, with Liverpool’s bitter rivals Manchester United also understood to be interested in securing Fekir’s services. Old Trafford sources claim that this is not the case however, with the player stating that he will not make any further comments about his future until after Sunday’s final.

With the Premier League transfer window due to close on August 9, there will be a flurry of activity once the World Cup party is over, and the so-called “big six” are poised to flex their muscles once Russia 2018 concludes. As Liverpool fans plead with Fekir on social media to make the move to Merseyside, Klopp knows it’s now a race against time to complete his squad for 2018-19.

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