Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed Les Gones had offered Chelsea the opportunity to sign Nabil Fekir during the summer transfer window. The France international was initially fancied to make the move to Liverpool after both sides agreed on a deal worth £53m to finalise his proposed transfer.
Thereafter, the midfielder underwent the necessary formalities and even shot an introductory video, but the Reds eventually pulled out the deal after having concerns over his troublesome right knee, with Jamie Carragher reporting to Sky that Liverpool had injury concerns.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Aulas has now confirmed that Les Gones were more than prepared for their skipper’s exit but things did not pave the way as planned with Chelsea among those turning down the option to sign him.
He said: “In the beginning, when we thought about our summer transfer window and how to organise the future squad, we thought that he was practically gone. That’s why we have been able to adapt things. We spoke with Chelsea representatives, and they had no interest at all in him. From then on, we realised we could change our plans (as Nabil would stay).”
Following the World Cup, Fekir was offered an extended break from club football and he made his comeback against Strasbourg last weekend where he came on for the final quarter of the game. Speaking before that encounter, the Frenchman stressed that he has overcome his summer disappointment and his focus is entirely on Les Gones for the ongoing campaign.
Meanwhile, after dropping the interest in Fekir, Liverpool switched their focus towards recruiting XherdanShaqiri from Stoke City and they managed to do so with flying colours after triggering the relegation break clause on his contract. The Switzerland international has not yet made a Premier League start for the Reds but he is sure to make an impact as the season goes along.