18 NABIL FEKIR (ol) - JOIE FOOTBALL : Lyon vs Marseille - Ligue 1 Conforama - 17/12/2017 FEP/Panoramic.

L’Equipe journalist’s exciting take on Nabil Fekir’s future and what he would bring to Liverpool

Nabil Fekir has set his sights on a move to Liverpool this summer, and could replace the departed Philippe Coutinho as Jurgen Klopp‘s key playmaker.

Following the £39 million signing of Fabinho from AS Monaco, Fekir is believed to be the Reds’ next target as Klopp seeks to finalise his business early.

With the World Cup fast approaching, deals will become more difficult to complete, while competition could mount if players enjoy a productive spell in Russia.

Reports on Monday night revealed how Liverpool are set to begin formal negotiations with Lyon this week, in the hope they can agree a fee for the 24-year-old before mid-June.

Fekir scored in France’s first warmup friendly at home to the Republic of Ireland on Monday night, and would be an exciting addition to Klopp’s attacking ranks.

Providing further details of a possible move to Anfield for the Lyon captain, L’Equipe journalist Erik Bielderman explained how “Liverpool is really the first choice.”

He continued to detail the possible role he could play under Klopp, as either a No. 10 or even as competition for Roberto Firmino:

“We do believe that it is going to happen.

“I’m not going to tell you it’s going to happen on a very short basis but it should because it seems quite obvious from the Lyon camp and the Fekir camp, Liverpool is really the first choice.

“He’s a playmaker, he’s a creative player so you know you have to use him in a central position behind one or two strikers.

“He’s not what he was a couple of years ago. He’s not a right-winger.

“I don’t know if it’s going to work with Firmino but it could work for Jurgen Klopp to use him in that position.”

NABIL FEKIR during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 game between Lyon and Villareal - First Round (Photo Stephane GUIOCHON/Maxppp/PA Images)

A fee of around £61.5 million has been touted for the Lyon academy graduate, which would no doubt ensure a key role in Klopp’s first-choice lineup.

Given Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are all established starters, it could be that the manager opts to alter his formation to accommodate his arrival.

The 4-2-3-1 system utilised on the final day of the season at home to Brighton would allow the quintet to operate in their natural roles, with Fabinho and Naby Keita behind them.

Alternatively, Fekir could be slotted into the most advanced midfield role in the current 4-3-3, but as Bielderman suggests it is unlikely he would be brought in to challenge Mane or Salah.

Though Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has indicated his desire to delay talks until after the World Cup, the hope is that there is movement in the coming days.

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