Nabil Fekir is off to Liverpool, apparently. Any outlet boasting a journalist with even a semblance of inside knowledge at Anfield is reporting it on Friday. Which means The Sun are not. Go and laugh at them.
Here, we have collated the most important segments of each update in one lovely article, all so you don’t have to scour around for the best bits. You’re bloody welcome.
The Guardian say Jurgen Klopp ‘is keen to strengthen his midfield options’ to try and wrestle the Premier League crown from Manchester City. To that end, the ‘£61m-rated’ Fekir is ideal.
The Liverpool Echo claim that the Reds ‘have heavily scouted’ the Lyon player this season, and see him as ‘an ideal replacement for Philippe Coutinho’.
That is echoed by the Daily Telegraph, who dub Fekir ‘the new Coutinho’ in the headline. Cute. They say that ‘negotiations are to speed up from next week’, and ‘there has been a shift in momentum’ over the past 24 hours. According to Chris Bascombe, the desperation to win a first top-flight title since 1990 is real:
‘Liverpool still crave what is generally referred to around the club, even among the executives, as “No 19”. Liverpool’s last league title, their 18th, was won in 1990 but there is a significant points gap to bridge to catch Manchester City.’
Sticking with the Telegraph, Bascombe’s colleague Jason Burt has also weighed in:
Nabil Fekir is Liverpool’s number one transfer target this summer. Talks underway
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) May 24, 2018
The Daily Mirror confirm that ‘contact has been made’ between the two clubs, and Liverpool ‘want an agreement before the World Cup starts if possible’. Fekir is in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man France squad, and Les Bleus have friendlies against Ireland (May 28), Italy (June 1) and the United States (June 9) before heading off to Russia. Time is of the essence.
The Times report that Fekir’s ‘ability to play in a number of roles’ appeals to Klopp. Liverpool believe they are ‘favourites’ to sign the 24-year-old.
The Daily Mail say that Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain and assistant manager Mikel Arteta both scouted Fekir in October, but they will lose out to Liverpool. Dominic King adds:
‘The situation, though, has developed and Liverpool will target Fekir as part of an ambitious summer recruitment drive that they hope will narrow the gap between themselves and City, the runaway Premier League Champions, while also giving the extra strength in depth that they have lacked at times this season.’
King also states that Klopp wants ‘all incoming transfers to be completed before the first day of pre-season’.