Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas has finally explained why Liverpool did not sign Lyon's Nabil Fekir in the summer transfer window.
Fekir was linked with a move to Premier League leaders Liverpool in the summer, but after weeks of negotiations the deal fell through at the final moment. Fekir, who remained at Lyon, is now in talks to renegotiate his contract at the French club.
The Lyon president spoke to RMC's Breaking Sport in France, as quoted by GFFN, saying: “At the final moment, the three parties did not find an agreement, but not just Liverpool and Lyon, who had had an agreement.
“There was a change of heart from Liverpool’s point of view, as we were in a tight situation in that Nabil was about to go to the World Cup, we decided to finish (talks). Nabil at the time was OK with all of that.”
A long-term knee injury that came to light during Fekir's medical supposedly put Liverpool off a deal, but Aulas believes that is not the real reason Liverpool pulled out.
The Lyon president added: “I think it was one of the arguments that was used on the Liverpool side, but personally I do not think it was the real reason.”
Fekir remained at Lyon over the summer and has been in fine form this season, netting four goals and four assists in all competitions. However, the Ligue 1 side are having problems tying the Frenchman to a new contract.
Aulas said of Fekir's contract management: "For the moment, we have not really had a real discussion, even if we met three weeks ago. It is ongoing, it is on my desk. We are going to make it so that he is aware of it soon, with complete transparency."
Liverpool haven't looked like they needed the Lyon captain on Merseyside as they sit top of the Premier League. However, they face a crunch match against Napoli on Tuesday evening that will decide their Champions League fate.