Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has taken to Twitter to seemingly taunt Liverpool over the breakdown of their £53million swoop for Nabil Fekir.
The France international was expected to join Jurgen Klopp’s side before Les Bleus left for the World Cup, but Lyon have now ended talks and called off the deal.
Numerous reports cited Liverpool trying to get the playmaker’s fee reduced after a medical showed up an issue with a previous knee injury suffered by the player, leading to Lyon to call the whole thing off.
And Aulas, well known for his tough negotiating and forthright approach, was quick to tweet what many in the French media are already perceiving as something of a jibe towards Liverpool.
Replying to Lyon’s tweet regarding the transfer collapse, he tweeted: “We love you Nabil, come on France, come on Lyon!”
The Frenchman is notoriously tricky to deal with as Arsenal found during their negotiations for Alexandre Lacazette last summer, while Aulas was keen to delay Fekir’s sale until after the World Cup in order to maximise the player’s value.
However, Fekir’s insistence that he wanted to join Liverpool now forced Lyon’s hand, before negotiations stalled on the back of his medical.
In a statement released by Lyon, the Ligue 1 side said: “Olympique Lyonnais informs that the tripartite negotiations with the Liverpool club and Nabil Fekir for the transfer of the captain of OL have not succeeded and that Olympique Lyonnais has decided to put an end to this negotiation tonight at 20h.
“Although the club Liverpool has been the priority of a possible transfer of Nabil, and subject to other proposals consistent with the interest of Nabil and OL and from ambitious clubs, Olympique Lyonnais is delighted soon to be able to count on the presence of his captain who is a leading rookie for this season 2018/2019 during which the club will play the Champions League being in the 3rd hat of the draw.”
The 24-year-old was being courted by Liverpool as a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who joined Barcelona in January.
There were doubts as to whether the playmaker would pass a medical with the Premier League side due to a knee injury.
However, Daily Mirror journalist David Maddock thinks there could still be life in the deal.
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