No-nonsense Lyon chief gives Liverpool fresh hope of Fekir deal

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has strongly hinted his club are prepared to return to the negotiating table with Liverpool over Nabil Fekir.

The Reds had been set to unveil Fekir as a summer signing ahead of the World Cup but the £53million deal collapsed at the last minute in strange circumstances with a row emerging over his fee and a long-standing knee injury.

This week it was suggested, however, that Fekir remains determined to join Liverpool this summer and his stance will force Lyon president Aulas – known for his tough negotiating skills – to discuss a restructured deal.

And now Aulas has confirmed he is open to talks again.

Responding to speculation that the deal could be back on the cards, Aulas admitted in an interview with Le Progres: “It seems to me though that Liverpool could come back to the table. That’s what I saw in the press, but I’m not informed.

“His transfer failed in June, but he is not affected. He is quite fatalistic, focused on his World Cup, and he still has his heart in Lyon.

“We spoke to his brother, Yassin. Nabil is much closer to Lyon today than he was when we talked to Liverpool.

“Maybe he will go to Liverpool, or to another club, but if he stays at Lyon it will be a great year for him and for us.”

Fekir has already agreed a five-year contract worth £120,000 a week with Liverpool. And while Lyon are unlikely to renege on their £53million valuation, the deal could be resurrected if the Ligue 1 club agree to accepting the money over the bulk of the five-year contract, rather than a significant chunk up front.

Fekir, meanwhile, is likely to start Sunday’s World Cup final on the substitutes bench.


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