Medical, Financial Issues Given As Reasons
Liverpool’s bid to sign Lyon winger Nabil Fekir has hit a snag following his medical.
The Reds were expected to wrap up Fekir’s £53million transfer on Friday. That was after members of the Liverpool medical team spent two days over in France going through what seemed to be the formality of an examination.
Fekir was out of action for six months with anterior cruciate knee ligament injury. He suffered another knee injury in February of this year that kept him out of action for over six weeks. It is not known whether Liverpool’s hesitance is related to his knee problems.
Liverpool have been tracking Fekir for some time. Talks began last month over a move that would cost the Merseyside club €60million (£53million).
But according to French radio station RMC, the delay is largely down to financial reasons. Lyon are publicly-quoted company in France. A transfer of this size could affect the club’s share price so an announcement must be made via the French stock exchange. The market closed early on Friday evening thus delaying any possible announcement until Monday.
However, RMC adds that Lyon want the transfer to go in to their accounts for the 2018-19 financial year. That begins on 1 July. Their 2017-18 accounts already include the sales of Alexandre Lacazette (€53million to Arsenal) and Corentin Tolisso who was sold to Bayern Munich last summer for €41million. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas wants Fekir’s sale to stay out of last season’s accounts.
The transfer window in France formally opens today.
If the deal goes ahead, Fekir will sign a five-year deal worth £140,000 a week. Liverpool will pay an initial £48.4million plus an additional £4.4million in add-ons and bonuses.
Liverpool Set To Sign Xhaka
Liverpool are also closing in on a deal for the Stoke City midfielder Granit Xhaka.
The Switzerland international looks set to leave Stoke following their relegation to the Championship. He has a £12million release clause in his contract with the Potters.
Manager Gary Rowett insists that any transfer will only be done with the best interests of the club at heart. But an exit for Xhaka – and for £12million – looks a forgone conclusion.