‘I’m not close to Liverpool’ – Fekir deals Reds a transfer blow

Nabil Fekir has said that he is “not close” to a move to Liverpool and intimated that he will take some time to decide upon his future.

The Lyon attacker had been closely linked with a move to the Anfield club this summer, though OL president Jean-Michel Aulas said on Friday that he still hoped the France international may yet remain with the Ligue 1 outfit.

While Fekir is still talking about the prospect of leaving Champions League-bound Lyon, he has said that any transfer to Liverpool is no formality and that there are still several clubs in the running for his signature.

“I’m not close to a move to the Reds,” he told TF1’s Telefoot programme. “There are discussions with several clubs, but I will take time to think.”

This was information supported by Aulas, who reiterated what he had said earlier in the week.

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“For the moment, we’re not talking with Nabil,” he said. “He’s been the architect of a great season. Nabil has not indicated that he wants to leave or if he wants to play one more year with Champions League football.”

Fekir enjoyed a stellar season with Lyon, scoring 18 goals and creating seven more in Ligue 1 as they finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco.

There was disappointment in Europe, however, as Fekir missed the CSKA Moscow defeat that ultimately cost them a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, the final of which was played at Parc OL.

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His words, meanwhile, will be a further blow for Liverpool, who are smarting from European defeat of their own, having suffered a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League, in which star attacker Mohamed Salah went off injured with a shoulder injury that manager Jurgen Klopp described as “serious”.

Fekir has been touted to leave Lyon this summer but would likely command a price tag in the region of €70 million (£62m/$82m).

Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with a potential move for the 24-year-old, who will be a member of Didier Deschamps’ 23-man France squad in Russia for the World Cup this summer.