Wednesday, Feb 26th 2020 3:16 PM

Market Digest Nigeria


Fekir says Liverpool made excuses over failed move in 2018


Nabil Fekir says he still remains confused with Liverpool regarding the reasons behind his failed transfer to the club from Lyon last year.

Nabil Fekir joined Real Betis from Lyon this summer after a proposed move to Liverpool fell through

Nabil Fekir joined Real Betis from Lyon this summer after a proposed move to Liverpool fell through

The 26-year-old looked set to join Liverpool for £53m in 2018 before negotiations between the two clubs ended. It was reported Fekir had undergone a medical and agreed personal terms with the Premier League club, only for the deal to collapse. Reports later suggested Liverpool had ended their pursuit of the France international because of concerns over a long-term knee problem. However, Fekir insists he did not fail a medical examination with Liverpool and believes the move fell through because of other reasons, unknown to him.

The midfielder told L’Equipe: “There was an incredible amount of lies told about it. Everything that has been said about my family in particular. It hurts them, as it hurt me. “You want the truth? Even I do not know it, I assure you. I did my medical examination and, behind, they decided not to sign me. “At one point, they wanted me to believe it was the knee. But it was an excuse and medical tests passed at Clairefontaine were very clear.

“What irritated me was that by trying to advance this pseudo-physical problem, it ruled out chances with other clubs that were potentially interested, while there are other players who have experienced the same injury and it did not prevent them from returning to a normal trajectory.

Fekir has two goals in 21 caps for France

Fekir has two goals in 21 caps for France

“I have no bitterness towards Liverpool. They showed me that they really wanted me. But behind, when you do not surround yourself with good people, it hurts you.” Fekir secured a move away from Lyon, where he was their club captain, this summer to join Real Betis on a four-year-deal for an initial £17.75m fee. Fekir’s former agent Jean-Pierre Bernes has criticised the midfielder’s latest comments on his failed Liverpool move, stating his knee injury was a legitimate reason why negotiations broke down. He also told L’Equipe: “He has to stop this show and stop taking people for fools. Everyone knows what happened.

“The transfer to Liverpool has turned around for two reasons. The first is his knee, even though the English club’s leaders were willing to make an effort on this. “The second is the appearance of a foreign pseudo-representative who asked for the negotiations to be resumed from the beginning at the moment of signing.

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