Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Lyon, has this afternoon revealed that Nabil Fekir will not depart the club before or during the World Cup.
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 11-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 backed by countless other outlets, it is in fact Liverpool who have very much jumped to the front of the queue for Fekir.
Numerous reports have even gone as far as to claim that Fekir’s move to Anfield is all but complete, with Canal+ journalist Romain Collet-Gaudin having run the story last weekend that both the French attacker and his agent would be on Merseyside on Sunday to iron out the final details of his transfer:
#Fekir et son agent Jean-Pierre #Bernès devraient être ce dimanche 03/06/2018 à #Liverpool pour régler les derniers détails du transfert de l’international français. Si tout va bien, visite médicale dans la foulée ! #LFC pic.twitter.com/PH1Eu67Sga
— Romain Collet-Gaudin (@RomainCG75) June 2, 2018
However, after several experts had subsequently denied Collet-Gaudin’s claim, Fekir’s agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes, confirmed on Sunday that neither he or the player were in Liverpool during an interview with Le Progres:
‘I have not moved from Marseille, I’m with my family, but I’ll be clear, we’ll go with Nabil to Liverpool or elsewhere, only when there is an agreement with OL and if Jean-Michel Aulas gives me the green light.’
In addition, Bernes cast doubt on Fekir’s proposed move to Anfield, revealing that ‘other clubs can also come in’ for the Lyon captain:
‘Liverpool’s interest exists, but for the moment there is nothing done and other clubs can also come in. This transfer window can be long.’
Going nowhere… for now
And, as per the latest update in the Fekir to Liverpool saga this afternoon, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that his side’s crown jewel will not be making the move to Anfield, or anywhere else, either before or during this month’s World Cup:
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) June 7, 2018