As per a report from Le Progrès this morning, Premier League giants Manchester United have held talks with in-demand Liverpool target Nabil Fekir over a move to Old Trafford.
Fekir, a versatile 24-year-old forward/winger who can play anywhere across the frontline or in an attacking midfield role, has been on the books of Lyon since joining the club from Saint-Priest in 2011.
The 15-time capped French international has long been regarded as one of the finest talents in Ligue 1, and was even named Lyon’s new captain following the departure of Maxime Gonalons from the Groupama Stadium last summer.
And the added responsibility of leading his side has certainly not hindered the performances of Lyon’s star man, with Fekir having racked up 24 goals and 9 assists across all competitions this past season (despite being sidelined for 6 weeks between February and April).
Unsurprisingly, the stellar form of the technically-gifted left-footer has led to inevitable links with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs, with the likes of Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal previously been touted as potential destinations.
The interest on the part of the Gunners was always thought to have been the most concrete in the past, but, as was originally revealed by Canal+ last month and has since been confirmed, it was in fact Liverpool who very much jumped to the front of the queue for Fekir.
Numerous reports even went as far as to claim that Fekir’s move to Anfield was all but complete, with screenshots having subsequently emerged online of the French international taking part in an interview with Liverpool’s official online channel.
As such, it came as a major shock when, on the day that Fekir’s arrival on Merseyside was expected to be made official, Lyon released a statement revealing that they had pulled the plug on their negotiations with Liverpool due to an apparent last-minute disagreement over transfer fee.
Old Trafford bound?
The Reds are thought to maintain an interest in reopening talks with Lyon over the gifted attacker, but, as per the aforementioned report courtesy of Lyon-based outfit Le Progrès this morning, Jurgen Klopp’s men may face a fight in their renewed bid to coax Fekir to Anfield over the coming months, amid claims that Premier League rivals Manchester United have entered the fray for the Frenchman.
Le Progrès’ update claims that United have in fact already gone as far as to make a contract offer to Fekir, though the Red Devils are not thought to have opened negotiations with Lyon as of yet.
‘Lower the price’
Along with their claim regarding United, the generally-reliable Progrès have also shed light on the reason behind the collapse of Fekir’s proposed move to Liverpool:
‘Liverpool decided to lower the price for Nabil by €5m, hiding behind a cartilage problem of the player’s knee, which was an old story and is not at all preventing him from playing in the World Cup.’