Nabil Fekir will stay at Lyon after negotiations over a transfer to Liverpool broke down, the Ligue 1 club have announced.
France forward Fekir has long been linked with a big-money move to Anfield and enjoyed a stellar campaign in France’s top flight this season – scoring 18 goals and supplying a further eight assists.
Lyon issued a statement on Friday to dismiss reports the 24-year-old was on the verge of signing for Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League finalists.
Fekir is part of France’s squad for the 2018 World Cup and on Saturday French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet claimed he had undergone a Liverpool medical at Les Bleus’ Clairefontaine training base.
However, the saga has now taken another and seemingly final twist.
“Olympique Lyonnais informs that the tripartite negotiations with Liverpool and Nabil Fekir for the transfer of the captain of OL have not succeeded and that Olympique Lyonnais has decided to put an end to this negotiation,” read a statement on the club’s official website.
An overall transfer package worth £53million was understood to be on the table for Fekir, although reports over recent days placed the transfer in doubt.
Fekir’s previous knee injury, Lyon’s concerns over the structuring of payments and Liverpool seeking to reduce the overall fee have all be claimed as complicating factors.
Lyon’s statement added: “Although Liverpool made the possible transfer of Nabil a priority, and [we have been] subject to other proposals consistent with the interests of Nabil and OL from ambitious clubs,
“Olympique Lyonnais is delighted soon to be able to count on the presence of our captain, who is a leading player for this 2018-19 season, during which the club will play the Champions League as a third seed.”
Liverpool began their close-season business with an eye-catching £43.6m swoop for Monaco midfielder Fabinho at the end of last month, while Naby Keita’s agreed £52.75m switch from RB Leipzig will go through on July 1.
However, unless a move for Fekir can be resurrected, the final chunk of the January bounty they received from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho must now be spent elsewhere.