Lyon star Nabil Fekir is close to signing a new contract according to the club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas, despite having nearly joined Liverpool last summer.
The Frenchman was on the verge of sealing a switch to Anfield ahead of this season in a £53m move from the Ligue 1 side, only for the transfer to break down at the final hurdle.
Premier League rivals Chelsea were later said to have held an interest in bringing Fekir to England in January. However, as quoted by the Mirror, Aulas said of the 25-year-old: “We have made some advances in Fekir’s contract extension, we are discussing it and soon I’ll have to see Nabil, we aren’t in the final stages but in any case we have advanced.”
Since failing to complete a move to the Premier League in each of the two transfer windows, Fekir has gone on to scored seven goals and register three assists in 18 Ligue 1 appearances as captain of a Lyon side which currently sits third in the French top flight.
Liverpool‘s summer spending spree saw the arrivals of goalkeeper Alisson, midfield stars Naby Keita and Fabinho as well as former Stoke forward Xherdan Shaqiri at Anfield ahead of this season, though Fekir’s move was the one deal which failed to materialise.
The World Cup winner was apparently lined up as an ideal creative replacement for former talisman Philippe Coutinho, who had moved to La Liga giants Barcelona last term, though Jurgen Klopp’s side ultimately failed to get the deal over the line.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s failure to bring Fekir to Stamford Bridge in January coincided with the Blues’ recent struggles which saw Maurizio Sarri’s side only manage to bring in Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus last month.
Sarri’s side suffered a stunning 6-0 thrashing at the hands of champions Manchester City last month as the former Napoli coach’s struggles continued to deepen during his first season in the Premier League.