The FC crew analyse the major curveball thrown by Lyon as they ended negotiations with Liverpool over the transfer of Nabil Fekir.
The transfer window is open, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow live with our daily blog throughout the summer.
TOP STORY: Lyon announce Fekir is staying put
Just when it seemed like a deal to bring Nabil Fekir from Lyon to Liverpool was all but done, this transfer saga has taken another turn.
Lyon have tweeted and announced via their website that Fekir will be staying at the club and not joining Liverpool this summer after all. This comes completely out of left field as various reports indicated the two sides were inching closer to a deal on Friday.
Nabil Fekir reste à l’OL https://t.co/RiE3st94Vq
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) June 9, 2018
To make matters even weirder, the original tweet and report was posted by the club at 8:05 pm local time but then was quickly deleted before being reposted again at 8:13 pm local time. That is about par for the course with all the twists and turns this transfer roller-coaster has taken.
With the clubs having reportedly been in agreement on a £53 million fee and Fekir ready to sign off on contract details, Lyon have shockingly done a complete 180 and now claim they will not be selling the highly France midfielder at all.
Fekir, who will be taking part in the World Cup for France in Russia, was thought to be the third piece of high-profile business for Jurgen Klopp’s side this summer along with Naby Keita and Fabinho. Instead, it looks as if Liverpool will have to look elsewhere and switch to alternative targets such as Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri.
It looks as if Nabil Fekir will be staying put but then again, who would be surprised if there was another twist to this bizarre tale.
23.00 BST: That will put a bow on a busy day with our Live Transfer Talk blog. Remember to check back in tomorrow for the latest on Nabil Fekir and all the latest rumours, links and completed deals from around the football world. Take care!
21.58 BST: One more for the road. West Ham have reportedly upped the price tag of Manchester United target Marko Arnautovic.
The Mirror reports that the Hammers have slapped a £60 million price tag on the Austrian amidst recent interest from the Red Devils and others.
The winger was signed from Stoke for £24m last season and scored 11 goals and provided six assists for the London club.
Arnautovic is a talented player who sporadically produces the incredible but £60m seems a bit steep in this writer’s opinion for the 29-year-old.
21.50 BST: Crystal Palace are reportedly keen on Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong according to the Daily Express.
The 26-year-old Scot is admired by Palace director of football Dougie Freedman and could be looking for a move with a logjam of midfielders currently at Parkhead.
21.40 BST: Leeds United have been handed bad news in their pursuit of Hull City striker Abel Hernandez if Turkish newspaper Fanatik is to be believed.
The paper claim that Hernandez is on his way to Turkey and that the Uruguayan is set to sign for giants Galatasaray.
İngiltere’de Hull City ile olan sözleşmesi sona eren Abel Hernandez için Galatasaray düğmeye bastı. Sarı-Kırmızılılar, Uruguaylı forvet için yıllık 2 milyon Euro’dan (10.5 milyon TL) 3 senelik kontrat önermeye hazırlanıyor. pic.twitter.com/ktf3MPw1uv
— Fanatik (@fanatikcomtr) June 9, 2018
If true, hard luck, Leeds.
21.29 BST: Newcastle appear to have some decisions to make regarding their centre-backs as both Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune are drawing interest from bigger clubs in Europe.
The Evening Standard writes that both Chelsea and Tottenham are closely monitoring Lascelles, with Spurs tabbing him as fallback plan if they fail to retain Toby Alderweireld.
Lejeune, meanwhile, could be headed back to Spain. New Sevilla manager and Lejeune’s former manager at Girona, Pablo Machin is reportedly keen on a reunion with the 27-year-old Frenchman.
It would be surprising to see Rafa Benitez sell both of his centre-backs but could at least one of the two centre-backs be headed for St James’ Park exit?
21.14 BST: Brighton’s Connor Goldson to Rangers?
Steve Gerrard reportedly is close to bringing the defender — whom Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon compares to John Stones — to Ibrox.
The Daily Record believe the 25-year-old Goldson will cost Rangers around £3 million.
20.59 BST: The Daily Mirror claim that West Ham have entered the race to sign Toulouse defender Issa Diop.
The six-foot-four bruiser is the captain of the France Under-21s and is rated at £20 million.
New Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini is reportedly a big fan of Diop, while London rivals Tottenham have also been linked to the big man.
The club have also been linked with Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu, with the Turkey international’s agent Mustafa Dogru providing an update.
“Sven Mislintat has been keen on Caglar since he was at Borussia Dortmund. He first scouted him back in Germany. There are concrete talks and all that remains is for a fee to be agreed. We will see what happens next”, said the agent on Saturday.
One thing is for certain, Arsenal look set to do a complete makeover of their defence.
19.45 BST: Here’s an interesting one. The Daily Mail writes that Newcastle are one of the clubs “lining up” for Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, if United decided to loan out the England youngster.
With Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and maybe even Gareth Bale as options up front or on the wing, Jose Mourinho could choose to loan out the 20-year-old in order to give him the opportunity to play regularly as a central striker.
Leicester City and Everton are both also listed as potential loan landing spots but Rashford at Newcastle would be fun marriage for sure.
19:08 BST: Atalanta announced they have signed goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini on a permanent basis after his 18-month loan from Aston Villa ended last month.
Gollini, 23, made eight appearances in all competitions for the Serie A club last season as the backup to Etrit Berisha and kept three clean sheets.
Atalanta activated a £3.75m clause to sign Gollini, according to Sky Sports — and that’s good news for Aston Villa, who can use all the cash they can get at this point.
18.08 BST: Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri has responded to the rumours that have linked him with a move to Liverpool.
Speaking to Swiss publication Blick, the Stoke City man had this to say: “I can’t tell you anything right now, I think my agents take care of my future. I’m focusing on the national team right now.”
Shaqiri has been linked with a £12 million move from relegated Stoke to Anfield.
17.40 BST: With Wolves’ negotiations with Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio having stalled, the club have reportedly identified a fallback option.
Sparta Prague and Romania international Florian Nita is the goalkeeper being linked with a move to the Molineux. The 30-year-old goalkeeper played last season in the Czech Republic after 11 years in Romania’s professional ranks divided between Concordia Chiajna and Steaua Bucuresti.
17:02 BST: It’s well-known at this point that Mario Balotelli will likely leave Nice this summer, but while a return to Italy has long seemed a possibility, he might instead be moving west along the Cote d’Azur.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marseille are keen to add the striker, with everyone — officials, coaches and many players — in agreement that Balotelli would be best for the club.
Balotelli scored 27 goals in all competitions last season and, according to Gazzetta, Marseille believe he would be a significant upgrade over the Kostas Mitroglou and Valere Germain.
16:05 BST: Wolverhampton Wanderers will want to cement their status in their first year back in the Premier League and are hoping to do so with a move for Sunderland’s Paddy McNair, according to the Chronicle.
The club previously resisted offers for the Northern Ireland international, who moved from Manchester United in 2016 when Sunderland were in the Premier League, but he may now be seeking first-team football at a higher level after they were relegated to League One last month.
15:27 BST: Tottenham Hotspur have their eyes on Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson, according to La Provence, who report that the club would not be willing to let him go for anything less than €30m.
Sanson, 23, joined the club from Montpellier in a €9m move, plus bonuses, in January 2017, but he caught the attention of a number of clubs after helping Marseille reach the Europa League final last month.
14:56 BST: Patrick Kluivert learned that leaving Ajax early in his career wasn’t that simple and he hopes his son Justin Kluivert won’t make the same mistake.
Kluivert said he has advised Justin to stay with the Dutch club for another year even though the winger closes in on a reported €18m (£15.8m) move to Roma.
“If he’s got the feeling to leave then he’s got to do that, but he needs to know what things are coming on his way,” Kluivert said.
14:42 BST: The Nabil Fekir saga has drawn on long enough for many people — and the wife of Liverpool owner John Henry seems to be among them.
Linda Pezzuti Henry, the managing director of the Boston Globe, had a bit of a laugh with Liverpool fans on Twitter when a user replied to a post about an honour for Globe reporters:
— Linda Pizzuti Henry (@Linda_Pizzuti) June 9, 2018
Of course, this means the Liverpool communications team will really have to step up with their announcement should it ever arrive.
14:18 BST: Developing the Top Story, Marca is reporting that Neymar met with a Madrid representative in Liverpool while Brazil were training there last week.
According to the newspaper, Neymar reiterated that he is interested in joining the club to the official, who was in the city to make progress on the signing of Santos forward Rodrygo.
13:44 BST: Wayne Rooney’s move to D.C. United has taken another step forward as the Everton midfielder and former England captain has applied for his United States visa.
According to The Sun, Rooney flew to Belfast on Friday to visit the U.S. Consulate and fill out paperwork that would allow him to complete the transfer.
Sources told ESPN FC on Friday that Rooney remains open regarding his future and still hasn’t ruled out a return to Everton despite meeting with the United club hierarchy last month.
13:18 BST: Jack Wilshere may not just be leaving Arsenal this summer but possibly England altogether.
That’s according to Tuttomercatoweb, who report that Wilshere will be offered a salary of €4.5m a season by the Serie A champions.
New Arsenal manager Unai Emery wants to keep the 26-year-old with the club, but Wilshere could potentially seek a fresh start abroad.
ESCLUSIVA TMW – Juventus, accelerata su Wilshere: ecco l’offerta per l’inglese https://t.co/zYDK51VrTa
— Tuttomercatoweb (@TuttoMercatoWeb) June 9, 2018
13:04 BST: West Bromwich Albion have made a £7m bid for Bristol City forward Bobby Reid, according to Sky Sports.
Reid, 25, scored 19 goals in 44 appearances this past season, and City have the option of exercising a third year on the two-year contract he signed after the 2015-16 season.
12:48 BST: Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been linked to a number of clubs in recent months and now Robert Pires hopes the Belgium international will make the move to Arsenal.
Fellaini is out of contract this summer and with Arsenal’s recruitment budget limited, a move to north London would make sense, according to Pires.
“If he wants to join Arsenal, I think it would be good news,” Pires, the former Arsenal defender, told Sky Sports. “He needs a new start and I think, with his quality, I think he can help Unai Emery and he can help the Arsenal players in the squad.”
12:37 BST: Could Everton be looking to add competition for Jordan Pickford this summer?
Finding someone capable of challenging the expected England No. 1 may be difficult, but that’s what new manager Marco Silva intends to do, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Silva said he wants two players competing for every starting place, and with Joel Robles set to leave as he is out of contract this summer, 35-year-old Maarten Stekelenburg is currently Pickford’s only challenger at the club.
12:28 BST: Liverpool’s move for Lyon captain and France international Nabil Fekir has stalled, a source has told ESPN FC Liverpool correspondent Glenn Price.
Liverpool were hopeful that they would be in a position to announce the completed transfer on Friday after positive discussions with Lyon, and an image of Fekir’s introductory interview with Liverpool’s TV channel was leaked on social media.
But, amid reports of Liverpool having reservations about the 24-year-old potentially possessing an underlying knee issue, a source said the club are not expected to confirm any incoming transfers for the time being.
11:58 BST: There are plenty of reports in Spain on Saturday that Barcelona have decided to sign Clement Lenglet. Mundo Deportivo lead with it on their front page and say the 22-year-old will come in as back-up to Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, with Thomas Vermaelen and Yerry Mina’s places in doubt.
ESPN FC reported on Thursday that Sevilla defender Lenglet will take a decision regarding his future by the end of the month.
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) June 9, 2018
11:32 BST: Tottenham are weighing up a move for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish, sources close to the Premier League club have told ESPN FC.
Leicester City are also keeping tabs on Grealish’s situation, but Tottenham are the front runners, with Pochettino viewing the 22-year-old as the type of player he can help develop into a better player while also strengthening the core of young English talents at the club.
11:10 BST: In case you missed this one on Friday, Manchester United and Tottenham are around £20 million apart in their valuations of Toby Alderweireld, sources have told ESPN FC.
United have been quick to move in the transfer market this summer, already snapping up Fred and Diogo Dalot.
Sources have told ESPN FC that United are willing to pay around £50m for Alderweireld, but negotiations have hit a sticking point with Tottenham valuing the 29-year-old at closer to £70m.
10:29 BST: When Mario Gotze left Bayern Munich to rejoin Borussia Dortmund in 2016 there was plenty of speculation that he could move to the Premier League. Now, he has revealed how close a move to Liverpool was.
“I decided to leave Bayern and Jurgen Klopp was interested in getting me to Liverpool. And I was also interested in working with him again,” he told DAZN as part of a four-part documentary about his career so far.
“[The desire to work with Klopp again] still exists. He is a world-class coach and that’s why it’s always an option. I decided to join Borussia Dortmund, but it was not a decision against Liverpool or Jurgen Klopp.”
10:05 BST: While there is still the chance that these players may be offered a new deal, here are 10 players who are available on a free transfer, including Marouane Fellaini, Jack Wilshere and Emre Can.
09:30 BST: In Italy, Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Inter Milan are set to offer Mauro Icardi a bumper pay-rise so they can keep him at the club.
Under the terms of the new deal the striker will get €6.3m basic annually and the potential to earn up to €8m with bonuses.
— LaGazzettadelloSport (@Gazzetta_it) June 9, 2018
09:00 BST: Danny Murphy has told ESPN FC that Liverpool’s fast start to the transfer window will help Jurgen Klopp build on this season’s success. The Reds have already signed Fabinho from Monaco and Naby Keita is incoming from RB Leipzig, meanwhile Lyon’s Nabil Fekir is rumoured to be joining.
“I like the fact they’re getting their business done early,” said Murphy. “I still think the keeper thing needs addressing and I think it will be, and maybe another centre-back. But in terms of attacking areas, I think they’re alright. Strength in depth is a question mark maybe, in terms of when you look at the benches of United and City. If you look at United’s front six it’s incredible really. But I’m pleased. They’re close.”
Real Madrid to break the bank for Neymar?
The Sun claims to have a source close to Real Madrid that says Florentino Perez is willing to pay £307 million to bring Neymar to the Bernabeu this summer before a £263m release clause kicks in with PSG as soon as the window closes at the start of September.
The report claims that “Real are unwilling to wait until January for their Galactico” and that the “free-spending suitors would break the current transfer record by £109m to get him before the new season begins.”
PSG reportedly put the Sept. 1 release clause in place to prevent Neymar leaving before 2019, but the rumour mill continues to swirl around the Brazilian’s future after returning from injury with the whispers surrounding a move to Madrid refusing to go away.
Herrera set for Bilbao return?
Ander Herrera could be headed back to the club he joined Manchester United from, with AS suggesting Athletic Bilbao are ready to make their former midfielder the team’s highest-paid player to lure him back to La Liga.
The 28-year-old was United’s player of the year two seasons ago, but was in and out of the lineup in the latest campaign and his place could be further complicated by the arrival of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.
But even if Herrera were surplus to requirements in Jose Mourinho’s midfield, the story says that the Portuguese boss is hesitant to let him go without a like-for-like replacement in the team.
Finances could further complicate the move as “Bilbao are also unlikely to be able to have the money to tempt United to sell,” meaning both club and player might have to wait until Herrera’s contract expires at the end of next season to be reunited.
– Harry Kane has penned a new deal with Tottenham and, according to the Mirror, that will have a knock-on effect and persuade both Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen to follow suit. The England frontman has committed himself to the club until 2024 and the Mirror says his two teammates “are the next in line to get bumper new pay deals.”
– Benfica forward Anderson Talisca has opted to join Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande on a six-month loan following links to Manchester United.
The Brazil youth international had been linked to a move to the Premier League, with Portuguese outlet O Jogo claiming last month that United submitted a £35 million offer for the 24-year-old.
– Juventus have signed Italian goalkeeper Mattia Perin from Serie A rivals Genoa for an initial fee of €12 million after he successfully passed a medical on Friday.