We spoke to SoFoot journalist Babacar Sall about Nabil Fakir and Liverpool’s latest signing, Fabinho.

There’s been a lot of speculation about Nabil Fekir, with the French international reported to be Jurgen Klopp’s top target this summer. Have Liverpool been in contact with Lyon yet?

As far I as know, Liverpool have already made an offer to buy Nabil Fékir. Since the end of the season, there is a lot of speculation. He’s not out of his contract so he cannot sign where he wants. Also, Jean-Michel Aulas is very tough in business.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – JULY 23: Lyon’s midfielder Nabil Fekir during the Friendly match between Sporting CP and Lyon at Estadio Jose Alvalade on July 23, 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

Fekir has been coy about his future, suggesting a move may be on the cards but at the same time it seems he is trying to be respectful to Lyon, reports have surfaced this week he has told club president Jean-Michel Aulas he wants to move to Liverpool – is this the case?

He has to be respectful towards Lyon. He grew up in the city, he has been there since the Academy, and now he’s the captain of the team. I don’t think he’ll go against his club. Lyon have qualified for the Champions League, they are trying to persuade him to stay at the club one more year.

READ MORE: Jerome Boating wanted by Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool is a big club and has a big history. It will be great progression for his career if he signs for the Reds.

How have you rated Fekir at Lyon, and do you think he’d be a good fit for Klopp’s Liverpool? 

He’s a very good player. Very skillful, highly smart on a football pitch. He had some low moments, especially two years ago when he tore his cruciate ligament at the beginning of the season.

Last year, he played more than 40 games, scoring 14 goals. He struggled to get his pace back directly after his return.

But last year, he was on fire, the real leader of this young team of Lyon. Bruno Genesio, head coach of Lyon, gave him the armband, gave him confidence and mostly, gave him the keys to this team.

He was one of the best players in Ligue 1 last year, playing offensive midfield or centre forward, assisting 8 and scoring 23, which was a great improvement.

Last year, as reports said, Jurgen Klopp wanted Thomas Lemar, another French international, to replace Philippe Coutinho. I was a little bit skeptical. But Fékir can be the best replacement that Liverpool can get to improve this great team.

With Bobby, Mané and Salah upfront with Fékir just behind them, it could be goal feast at every game!

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What is Fekir likely to cost Liverpool, should he be sold this summer?

It clearly depends of his World Cup. At the moment, he will cost around €60m, which is a very good price for such a talented and experienced player. He’s been playing regularly since 2014 with Lyon and he’s only 24.

Liverpool are keen to get a deal done before the World Cup starts in a couple of weeks, but there are reports Lyon are happy to wait until after World Cup, as they feel Fekir’s value could rise further, what are your thoughts on this?

Liverpool are recruiting brilliantly – Fabinho and Naby Keita are very intelligent moves. I think they want to do all their business before the World Cup, to be ready to work just after it. Unfortunately, Lyon have all hands on deck.

There are not under any obligation to sell, and they clearly want to keep their best player. They said that they want to wait until after World Cup. It’s an interesting one, as in the eyes of Didier Deschamps, the manager of the French national team, Fékir is not in the starting eleven.

He’s on the list for the World Cup, only because Dimitri Payet injured himself just before the announcement of the squad. But he clearly can have a role to play in this team. However, I don’t think thatvhis price will rise substantially, unless he scores the winner in the World Cup final!

How close do you think Fekir to Liverpool is, and is there a willingness from all parties to get a deal done? 

Hard to say. How close was Zidane to leaving Real Madrid? You can never be sure. One thing that we are sure of is that Liverpool want Fakir and Fekir wants Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp would play him in his best position, but like I said before, Jean-Michel Aulas is very tough when it comes down to business, he knows exactly how to run his club and won’t let Fekir go if the offer isn’t what he wants.

READ MORE: Ousmane Dembele may join Liverpool on loan

Liverpool have just signed Fabinho from Monaco, in your eyes, what do you feel Klopp is getting with the Brazilian, and how do you think he will cope with the intensity of the Premier League? 

Fabinho is a great player. Liverpool worked very smartly on this. The international Brazilian is very talented, skillful. He could be a great box-to-box. And the only thing I can say right now, is that Jordan Henderson has to be worried.

Fabinho wanted to go to PSG, but the transfer collapsed. He has been one of the best players for Monaco. The intensity is different in the Premier League but I think he will adapt very quickly as he’s very intelligent.

Alongside Naby Keita, it could be one of greatest duo of the Premier League next season.

About The Author

Social Media Activist, Gym Enthusiast, Liverpool Lover, Travel and Cinema Participator. Very fortunate to be where I am today. Up the Reds!

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2 Responses

  1. Red Ted

    It’s obvious that Klopp wants highly skilful and mobile players for his midfield. Henderson is destined for the bench or a move away.

    Reply
  2. Una

    Liverpool want Nabil Fekir and Nabil Fekir wants Liverpool… out of his sight permanently.

    Reply

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