Chelsea rejected the chance to sign Nabil Fekir, who was also a target for Liverpool, this summer, according to Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.
As reported by The Sun, Jean-Michel Aulas has claimed that Lyon were preparing for life without Nabil Fekir in the early stages of the summer transfer window, when Liverpool were interested in him. The 69-year-old also added that Chelsea rejected the chance to secure the services of the World Cup winner in the final days of the window.
Fekir was the subject of one of the most intriguing transfer sagas this summer. Liverpool were heavily linked with the French attacker for a long time, with reports suggesting that the player had even agreed personal terms and his squad number for the 2018-19 season.
In the end though, complications in his medical led to Liverpool and Lyon disagreeing over the transfer fee, and a move failed to materialise. Towards the end of the summer transfer window, however, Chelsea had reportedly emerged as suitors for Fekir, with a late bid being mooted.
But, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has claimed that Chelsea were never interested in signing the 25-year-old, even turning down the chance to secure his services. Aulas also alluded to Liverpool’s interest in Fekir, insisting that they thought the player was “practically gone” amid planning for the 2018-19 season.
“In the beginning, when we thought about our summer transfer window and how to organise the future squad. We thought that he [Fekir] was practically gone [to Liverpool]. That’s why we have been able to adapt things. We spoke with Chelsea representatives, and they had no interest at all in him. From then on, we realised we could change our plans [as he would stay].
For now, the decision to not pursue a move for Fekir does not seem to be working against Chelsea, who have started the 2018-19 season strongly. The Blues seem to be posing a potent threat in the final third, although there has to be a sneaking feeling that Maurizio Sarri might still be short of options in attack.
Liverpool, on the other hand, also decided not to renew their interest in Fekir, and their blistering start to the campaign suggests they are already a formidable unit. Meanwhile, Lyon will likely be the big winners at the end of an exhausting saga which saw Chelsea reject the chance to sign him.
Bruno Genesio will now be hoping Fekir is able to recreate his exploits from last season, especially with Mariano Diaz returning to Real Madrid this week.