As per a report from Italian journalist Pietro Balzano, Premier League giants Chelsea are close to securing a deal for Lyon star Nabil Fekir.
Fekir, a versatile 25-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 18-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 last 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+ back in May and since widely confirmed, it was in fact Liverpool who jumped firmly to the front of the queue for Fekir this summer.
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 28: Nabil Fekir #18 of France celebrate with his team mates after he scores the 2nd goal during the International Friendly match between France and Ireland at Stade de France on May 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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 the attacker’s arrival on Merseyside was expected to be made official, Lyon released a statement confirming that they had pulled the plug on their negotiations with Liverpool due to an apparent last-minute disagreement over transfer fee.
Stamford Bridge bound?
And, despite the Reds having been expected to return with an improved bid to finally clinch a deal with Lyon, an agreement has not yet been forthcoming.
As such, Fekir’s other suitors have been allowed back into the fray for his signature, with a report from France Football yesterday afternoon having revealed that Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Chelsea were now pushing hard for the French international.
FF stated that Maurizio Sarri is eager to add a player to his squad who can link midfield and attack, with Fekir viewed as the ideal candidate to do so.
And, as per the aforementioned update courtesy of Italian journalist Pietro Balzano this afternoon, Fekir looks to be inching towards a move to Stamford Bridge, amid claims that a deal worth around 50 million Euro is ‘close’.
Balzano also adds that the Blues are pushing for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic, as has been heavily reported in the Spanish media over the course of the day:
— Pietro Balzano Prota (@PBPcalcio) August 7, 2018