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09th Jun 2018

Nabil Fekir’s move to Liverpool appears to be off… for now

Fear not Liverpool fans, it'll probably be back on again in a couple of hours...

Simon Lloyd

We regret to inform you that Nabil Fekir’s proposed move to Liverpool is now very much a ‘saga’

The Lyon forward was said to be close to finalising his move to Anfield on Thursday night with an announcement due on Friday. Then it was off. Then back on. And now possibly off again. Exhausting.

Reports claim the deal was at a pretty advanced stage – despite Lyon’s statement insisting otherwise. Fekir had undergone a medical with Liverpool staff in Paris and agreed terms on a five-year-deal. He’d even conducted an interview with the club’s in-house tv channel, seemingly explaining the leaked photo of him which did the rounds on Friday.

The Guardian report that the announcement was delayed by concerns over Fekir’s fitness, pointing to problems the French international has had with knee injuries. He ruptured a cruciate ligament in September 2015, causing him to miss the majority of the 2015/16 season. A knee problem also saw him miss a spell of last season, too.

This delay has seemingly ended Liverpool’s hopes of completing the deal prior to the World Cup. Fekir is with the French team in Lyon, where they will play their final warm-up game before flying to Russia against the USA on Saturday night.

Liverpool have already secured the signing of Brazilian Fabinho from AS Monaco and will also sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig at the start of next month. Reports last week also added that they were giving serious thought to triggering the release clause in Xherdan Shaqiri’s Stoke contract. The Swiss international confirmed last week that he intends to leave Stoke following their relegation and hoped to remain in the Premier League. The clause in his contract is said to be around £12m.

Emre Can’s departure from Anfield was also confirmed on Friday. A statement from the club announced that Can, who is expected to join Juventus, would depart following the expiration of his contract. Jon Flanagan, a regular starter for Liverpool as they challenged for the Premier League title in 2013/14, will also leave.