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

11:11 BST 27/05/2018
Nabil Fekir Lyon
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas remains insistent that there have been no talks for his team's star man

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.

“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.

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.