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Bridging The Gap
Nabil Fekir: Liverpool target staying at Lyon, say Ligue 1 club
  Sunday 10 June, 2018
Nabil Fekir: Liverpool target staying at Lyon, say Ligue 1 club

France forward Nabil Fekir will not be joining Liverpool and will instead be staying at Lyon, the French Ligue 1 club have announced.

The two clubs had been discussing a deal for the playmaker worth 60m euros (£52.75m) - 55m (£48.35m) plus a maximum of 5m (£4.4m) add-ons.

However, Lyon said on Saturday that talks about the potential transfer of their captain "had not succeeded".

Fekir, 24, had been one of Reds boss Jurgen Klopp's prime summer targets.

"Although Liverpool has been the priority of a possible transfer of Nabil... Olympique Lyonnais is delighted to be able to count on the presence of their captain in 2018-2019," Lyon said in a statement.

Fekir is due to fly to Russia with France's World Cup squad after their game against the USA on Saturday. He came on in the second half of that game, which was at Lyon's home ground, to a great reception from the home fans.

He came through Lyon's youth system and has made 153 appearances for the club, scoring 57 goals, having made his debut in 2013.

Liverpool have already signed Brazilian midfielder Fabinho from Monaco for £39m signing, while Naby Keita is joining from RB Leipzig in a deal worth £52.75m.
Analysis

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport's chief football writer

The collapse - for now at least - of Liverpool's move for Fekir will be a setback for Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp saw the gifted 24-year-old slotting into the role vacated by Philippe Coutinho - who joined Barcelona in January - and adding to the threat of Liverpool's 'Big Three' of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Liverpool were keen to get a deal for Fekir over the line before the World Cup in Russia, where he will be in the France squad, but that will not happen now and it remains to be seen whether this deal is revisited and revived later in the summer.

Speculation is swirling about why the deal has not been rubber-stamped.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is notoriously tough in transfer business but it is my understanding the deal has not fallen down because Liverpool tried to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

Liverpool did not attempt, suggest or offer to renegotiate any terms for Fekir.

Now we must wait and see if Liverpool and Klopp go back in for a player they have coveted so much.

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