Liverpool have agreed a £62 million fee with Lyon for France international Nabil Fekir, according to reports from the French media.
Reports by the French press on Sunday claimed Liverpool were in “pole position” to sign 24-year-old Fekir from Lyon this summer in a £62 million deal. The initial story was released by Canal+ and confirmed later by RMC Sport.
The reports claim Liverpool have already agreed a fee with the Ligue 1 side and the attacking midfielder has also finalised a five-year contract with the Reds, with former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier playing a crucial advisory role in negotiations.
The midfielder’s 21-year-old brother, Yassin Fekir, is also said to be of interest to Jurgen Klopp and could make the same move. A recent deal of similar nature occurred back in 2012, when Chelsea signed brothers Eden and Thorgan Hazard, although the two were at different clubs - Lille and Lens.
Despite the reports claiming a deal has already been agreed, it would be wise to question the accuracy of the claims, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas playing down reports as they broke.
“We’ve had no contact with Liverpool today. Nabil Fekir is here. We hope to keep him next year to play in the Champions League,” he said.
Goal's Neil Jones also says he has checked out the story, “for it to come back negative”, writing: “I’m told Liverpool have not agreed a deal, or even bid, for Nabil Fekir.
“Whether they will in the future, your guess is as good as mine right now, but nothing imminent as far as I am aware.”
RMC also suggest Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, who joined the Spanish side for an initial £96.8 million deal last summer from Borussia Dortmund. The report claims Liverpool “are also concretely positioned” to reach an agreement for the French international.
Dembele has reportedly been of interest to Liverpool previously, with the Reds believed to have been knocked back by the youngster in 2016, before he joined Dortmund from Rennes.
The accuracy of the reports are dubious as it seems unlikely Dembele will leave this summer. The 20-year-old recently told French media that he “will be at Barcelona for a very long time.”
However, Liverpool fans will hope the link to Lyon captain Fekir has some truth behind it, with the French attacker scoring 22 goals and assisting seven in 37 games this season.
Fekir has previously hinted towards a move away from Lyon, saying: “We’ll see what the future holds. I’m at Lyon for now. I’m happy here. In football, you never know what can happen. It depends what the ball wants. You need to be prepared for anything.”
When pressed on where he may play his football next season, Fekir was adamant he did not know.
“That’s because I don’t know. I can’t tell you what will happen tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be at Lyon my whole life. I don’t know. I’m under contract with Lyon until 2020. There. Calm,” he added.
The Reds have been linked with a whole host of names in recent weeks, with Napoli midfielder Jorginho, Norwich's James Maddison and Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic all reported targets for Liverpool boss Klopp.
“We have to strengthen, first of all, the squad,” he said. “To bring in players who are 200 per cent better than the players we already have will be quite difficult, but we still need to do a few things to have more depth in the squad. That is very important.”