Liverpool have run into problems with the deal for Nabil Fekir…and that has cast doubt on his £53m transfer being completed before the World Cup.
The club had agreed a five year contract with the France international, and were all set to unveil him as their marquee signing of the summer before he played against USA in his country’s final World Cup warm up on Saturday.
But even though the player had agreed a five year contract, and the Reds had negotiated terms with his club Lyon over the fee, the deal hit a last minute hitch.
The player even underwent medical tests at France’s Clairefontaine training base outside Paris on Friday morning, but a proposed signing ceremony was postponed.
Liverpool have so far have refused to comment on suggestions there were issues with the medical, amid reports they had requested a second opinion on certain issues.
But late last night, conflicting reports from France suggested the issue is in fact with Lyon – due to their accounting practices.
The club is a publicly listed company, and strict stock market rules suggest they are not allowed to announce transfers until the window officially opens this weekend.
Further, it is understood their tough-negotiating president Jean-Michel Aulas wants to delay any official transfer until the end of the month, when any profits from sales would go into NEXT season’s accounts.
The French club already have a healthy balance sheet after the sale of Alexander Lacazette to Arsenal, and Aulas wants to delay a deal.
Lyon issued a pointed statement on their official website which indicated the deal was not yet completed. Aulas is notorious for his hard-bargaining in deals, and last minute switches in negotiating tactics.
There is no indication from either club the deal is dead, but sources in France have made clear that, as things currently stand, there is no prospect of an immediate announcement.
Fekir, along with the rest of the France squad, has been told by national team coach Didier Deschamps he will not now allow players to leave the camp to conduct transfer business.
Fekir is due to play at his home club stadium in Lyon on Saturday evening against the US, and France are due to fly out to Russia on Monday, where they will be based outside Moscow.
That leaves the very real prospect of any deal being delayed now until after the World Cup finals…which was always the stated aim of Lyon president Aulas.
Liverpool refused to comment on the situation, but it is understood they are not now anticipating any new signings in the immediate future unless the situation with Lyon changes.
Fekir was due to sign a £140,000 a week contract, and was seen as Jurgen Klopp’s main creative signing of the summer, as the club look to fill a hole left by the departure of Philippe Coutinho last season.
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