Liverpool journalist David Maddock has provided a new insight into why Liverpool backed out of a deal for Nabil Fekir in the summer of 2018.
The Reds were on the verge of completing the signing of the Frenchman from Lyon in 2018, going as far as conducting a medical and interviewing Fekir for Liverpool FC’s official channel, LFCTV.
The likes of Fabinho and Alisson arrived that summer, however, the signing of the Lyon captain was seen as a hugely exciting one as Liverpool looked to replace Philippe Coutinho, who departed Anfield for Barcelona in January 2018.
With the deal looking all but done, Liverpool remarkably pulled out of the transfer at the 11th hour, citing medical reasons. Fekir had suffered ligament damage earlier in his career and the Reds were said to be concerned by the possibility of a recurrence on their potential new purchase.
However, Mirror journalist Maddock has provided an alternative reason as to why the club decided to pull the plug on the deal, suggesting Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was unimpressed by the midfielder’s attitude.
“I think his greatest quality is to find the right personalities. People have overlooked this,” Maddock said of Klopp.
“They nearly signed Nabil Fekir from Lyon last summer and in the end the reason they didn’t sign him was not because of the injury – and he did have an injury, which was a problem but they could have done the deal.
“There were other problems: he got his brother involved, began demanding more money, wouldn’t speak to the Liverpool people.
“Klopp was like, ‘we can’t have that personality in our squad’.
“He picks the right personalities who respond to his energy and his man management. You can see it. They believe. Virgil van Dijk says often ‘this is special’. Klopp is responsible for that.”
It’s an interesting take on the whole saga, with local journalists previously adamant that the deal fell through solely down to his previous knee injury.
Fekir had scored 23 goals during an impressive 2017/18 campaign, with Klopp seeing him as the ideal candidate to add some creativity to Liverpool’s midfield.
The 26-year-old put an end to any speculation regarding a move to Anfield this summer after making a £17.7m move to Spanish side Real Betis.