Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has hinted that the Ligue 1 club would still be open to negotiate a transfer deal for Nabil Fekir if the striker opts to leave the club this summer.
Fekir, who scored 23 goals and provided eight assists in 40 appearances for Lyon during the 2017/18 campaign, was reportedly close to joining Liverpool before the negotiations broke down between the two clubs due to the start of World Cup finals in Russia.
But Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has now claimed that ‘nothing is ever completely over’ in reference to Fekir’s transfer saga.
“Nothing is ever completely over in the footballing world. Personally, I am no longer in discussions with Liverpool. At the moment, we are waiting for France and Nabil to have a fantastic World Cup,” he said.
“If Nabil was to start in the World Cup final, I am thinking about Nabil, about his future, about his family, because I especially like his dad and the entire environment.
“He has an agent in Jean-Pierre Bernes of the highest quality. You should not worry, I think that Nabil’s career is going to be even greater if he stays at Lyon, but it will not be me who decides.”
When asked if European champions Real Madrid are interested in signing the 24-year-old, he added: “I think it is true, there have not been any discussions, but I think they are interested.”
The Lyon chief continued by revealing that he was expecting Liverpool to complete Fekir’s signing before the start of the World Cup but the transfer talks took ‘too long’.
“It was expected at a certain point for him to go to Liverpool, I gave the green light,” he said. “It did not happen because things were dragged out too long,” he added.
“Nabil is an exceptional player, in terms of effectiveness. We saw (versus Peru), his ability to hold onto the ball in tight spaces is completely unique.
“It is true that the fact that things did not happen with Liverpool has brought about other clubs to manifest an interest, not just Real Madrid with their new manager.
“My aim is make sure he stays. I have always listened to what players want, because in terms of relationship for me they are very much my children, my sons. I hope he will stay, but if he absolutely wants to leave, we will find the biggest club deserving of his effectiveness.”
Any transfer deal for Fekir will almost certainly take place only after France’s World Cup involvement in Russia and it remains to be seen whether Real Madrid compete Liverpool for the skillful attacker’s signatures.