Nabil Fekir’s transfer to Liverpool – a test of patience
It was all going too well. News broke late on Thursday night that Liverpool had agreed a fee with Lyon for French forward Nabil Fekir. He was supposed to be announced on Friday, following his medical and an agreement of personal terms. He looked set to follow Fabinho’s smooth transition to the club and provide a real bolstering of confidence so early on in the transfer window.
Alas it seems it’s not got be that straight forward, if it evens happens at all. As Friday came and went, Saturday morning brought news that the transfer had indefinitely stalled despite the progress already made.
The rumour mill has been cranked ever since with numerous reasons given for the abrupt halt. Whatever the reason, it now appears the club faces a long and frustrating wait for the player.
Liverpool have been here before with Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas. The club failed to agree terms with him in 2007 when we foolishly allowed Florent Malouda to slip our grasp. Lyon’s president is a man known to demand the most for his players. He did it with Real Madrid’s pursuit of Benzema in 2009 as well as Spur’s signing of Hugo Lloris. Few can blame him for demanding top money for his players, its business model which has served the club well. Aulas appears as though he will be a formidable hurdle in this process.
Liverpool staff are reported in France right now trying to get around the last wrinkles of the transfer – I.E giving people more money. Regardless of the club’s efforts though, Lyon are likely to sit on it, especially with rumours strong that they are hoping to delay any transfer until the new fiscal year begins.
Another rumour doing the rounds last night was that the Frenchman’s medical threw up some doubts about his long term fitness. This has caused some fury on social media with some pointing to his inclusion in the current France World Cup squad as solid proof of his fitness.
Any concerns from the Liverpool medical team should not be so easily dismissed. Being fit for a couple of weeks is not the same as having a long term injury problem. Fekir has a history of knee problems and this must have come to the attention of the club. It would be foolish to invest so much money into a player who cannot give us a full season. The club are right to be prudent here if that is the case. The demands of full campaign under Klopp will take their toll on anyone, especially one if bad knees and a debutante to the English game.
Plenty of time
In a perfect world this transfer would be done and dusted and give us time to focus on a new ‘keeper for the rest of the summer. However, the club is likely to be drawn into a nervy and protracted delay.
There is still plenty of time between now and the middle of August to get this one in the bag. If Fekir is the right man for Klopp and his knees are fine, then the transfer has to happen.
The fans should take some encouragement though. So far, the last three windows have shown that FSG are not shying away from spending proper money. This deal has been delayed after we had agreed what would have been our second biggest transfer fee. The money is there, meaning if the Fekir deal does fall through, we should still have plenty of other options this summer.