A journalist has revealed that Liverpool were concerned about Lyon star Nabil Fekir's physical fitness, before pulling the plug on the negotiations to sign the Frenchman last summer.
The transfer saga surrounding Fekir was one of the longest-running stories of the summer transfer window. Liverpool agreed a £53m deal to sign the 25-year-old, only for the agreement to surprisingly collapse late into negotiations. It was speculated that Fekir had failed his medical, whilst there were even rumours that the Frenchman had rejected the move.
However, writing for joe.co.uk, Melissa Ruddy revealed the reason why the deal collapsed. She wrote: "While work quietly pressed on to secure Alisson, Liverpool pursued Lyon’s Nabil Fekir to fill the void left by [Philippe] Coutinho’s exit to [Barcelona] and to inject some attacking dynamism in the absence of the injured [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain.
“By June 7, all the terms for a £53m transfer were agreed pending a medical, but the physical examination flagged an underlying knee issue - which made it irresponsible for Liverpool to continue with the deal.
“It wasn’t about the France international’s quality, his current fitness or the cost, but his durability over time.
“The club have spent years correcting poor market decisions of the past and so a long-term outlay for an instantly depreciating asset was never going to tally with their sagacious approach.
“Also bubbling in the background was a move for Xherdan Shaqiri, whose relegation release clause at Stoke - a barely believable £13m - was public knowledge.”
Liverpool opted to complete the deal for Shaqiri, and the Swiss international has since gone on to net six goals and three assists in all competitions. On the other hand, Fekir has racked up nine goals and five assists from 21 appearances this season, carrying Lyon to third in Ligue 1.
Fekir, who has just 18 months remaining on his current contract, continues to find himself linked with a move away from Les Gones. The likes of Chelsea and Manchester United have been credited with interest in Fekir, and it remains to be seen whether either side will pursue a deal for the Frenchman.