Reports originating from Spain claim that Liverpool have reignited their interest in former transfer target Nabil Fekir.
The 28-year-old striker has been linked with a summer exit from Real Betis but their Sporting Director, Antonio Cordón, insists only a big money offer could tempt them into doing business. Reports claim that Fekir is looking for a move to the Premier League to enhance his chances of being involved at next year’s World Cup with France.
Back in 2018, Fekir was on the bring of signing for Liverpool. He had agreed personal terms and had even chosen his shirt number. However, the deal fall apart at the eleventh hour with the club citing ‘medical issues’ although there were suggestions at the time that something else had contributed to the Reds pulling the plug (a quick search on our members’ website will explain further).
In 2019, Fekir opened up on his dream move collapsing. He said: “Lots of lies were told and they affected me. Especially those told about my family. It hurt them and me. Especially when you know that’s what is being told is false.
“What was said is not the truth. My knee is good – I had a quick medical check at Clairefontaine – my knee wasn’t even mentioned. If my knee had been in such a bad state, would [Lyon chairman Jean-Michel] Aulas have made [an offer to keep me]?
“But the worst thing is the idea that people could suggest that it’s because of my family that the transfer didn’t happen. It’s a lie. But you have to live with it.
“You want the truth? Even I don’t know – I promise you! I did my medical and then [Liverpool] decided not to sign me. At some point they wanted to have me believe it was because of my knee – but an excuse needed to be found.
“The medical tests that I did at Clairefontaine were very clear – my knee is perfectly fine and I feel fine. There are no issues at all with my knee.
“But I have no bitterness towards Liverpool. I met them and we got on brilliantly. They showed that they really wanted me. But when you surround yourself with the wrong people, it comes off badly on you.”
However, Fekir’s former agent later claimed that late demands from the player’s entourage contributed to the transfer collapsing.
Jean-Pierre Bernes said: “Nabil was Liverpool’s priority. I worked for four months with the Liverpool representatives, with Jurgen Klopp, Jean-Michel Aulas, everything was ready.
“Nabil was already aware of his future contract which would have seen him earn around £40million over 5 years.
“And on the day that the contract was supposed to be signed, at Rambouillet, we saw a lawyer and Nabil’s brother-in-law arrive who said: ‘Stop everything, discussions have to start all over again.’
“It was surreal. We thought that we were in a Walt Disney film.”
Bernes did admit, though, that Fekir’s history of knee injuries did play a part in the deal falling through.
“There were two elements,” he added. “The player’s medical was negative and the second element was that when you want to sign for a big club like Liverpool, you need a certain attitude.
“When the Liverpool guys witnessed this cinema, they immediately [withdrew]. Sometimes when a player has an injury, representatives can make an effort to make it work.”
Arsenal have been linked with Fekir this summer but as yet they are yet to step up with an offer. As far as we’re away, neither has anyone else either in the Premier League or elsewhere.
It’s worth noting that Real Betis officials will be in England for a pre-season friendly against Leeds United at the end of the month.