Liverpool appeared to be on the verge of signing Nabil Fekir according to French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët, who claimed the Olympique Lyon star passed a medical while on location at France's pre-World Cup training camp. Those claims were shown to be far from the truth as Lyon issued a statement this evening to announce that their captain is staying where he is.
Lyon deny Fekir to Liverpool rumours
On Friday, Lyon issued a statement to decry "false" reports over a deal being reached for the 24-year-old forward, adding to speculation that both Fekir's previous knee injury and concerns over the financial structuring of the deal from the Ligue 1 club's point of view might scupper a potential blockbuster transfer.
On Saturday, the club confirmed that Fekir will remain in Lyon, for next season at least: Amid interest from Liverpool and other clubs, Olympique Lyonnais is delighted to confirm that our captain will be with us for the 2018/19 season when we will be competing in the Champions League".
Fekir passed medical in Clairefontaine
Earlier today, Le Graët had told reporters he believes negotiations for Fekir's move to Anfield are nearing completion, claiming the player passed the requisite physical checks at France's Clairefontaine base. "He's in the middle of negotiations and I think it's done," the FFF president said. “I spent 15 minutes with him this morning [Saturday], and he's only concerned with the France team. He's in good spirits. He passed his medical in Clairefontaine. That's logical, we've done it for other players." The veteran administrator has no concerns over the saga lingering on into France's World Cup campaign, where they have been drawn alongside Denmark, Peru and Australia in Group C. "It would be better for him [to complete the transfer], but he's not perturbed," Le Graët added.
Fekir enjoyed a career-best season with Lyon in Ligue 1, scoring 18 times in 30 games and supplying a further eight assists.
Fabinho and Keita captured
Liverpool began their close-season business with an eye-catching £43.6million swoop for Monaco midfielder Fabinho at the end of last month, while Naby Keita's agreed £52.75m switch from RB Leipzig will go through on 1 July.
France conclude their World Cup preparations with a friendly against the United States on Saturday in what could prove to be a farewell appearance for Fekir at Lyon's Groupama Stadium.