Liverpool look to have missed out on key transfer target Nabil Fekir, with his side Lyon claiming they have ended discussions.
The Ligue 1 club have released a statement claiming that the Reds were the first choice of a move for the attacker, but that talks are now over.
Despite the Reds seemingly having made an exceptionally early move and had parts of the deal wrapped up quickly, the transfer stalled on Friday.
Speculation over medicals and agreements between all parties quickly arose, and it became clear there were still yet hurdles to be cleared.
Now, despite owner Jean-Michel Aulas having previously stated no deal would be done this side of the World Cup, the French outfit have declared the move completely dead.
In full, the translated statement reads:
Olympique Lyonnais informs that the tripartite negotiations with the Liverpool club and Nabil Fekir for the transfer of the captain of OL have not succeeded and that Olympique Lyonnais has decided to put an end to this negotiation tonight at 8:00 p.m. (7 p.m. UK).
Although the club Liverpool has been the priority of a possible transfer of Nabil, and subject to other proposals consistent with the interest of Nabil and OL and from ambitious clubs, Olympique Lyonnais is delighted soon to be able to count on the presence of the captain for this season 2018/2019, during which the club will play the Champions League.
The two clubs had agreed terms for a £48 million transfer, rising in add-ons, but since Friday there has been speculation that Fekir either failed a medical or the Reds wanted a second opinion on a knee injury suffered more than two years ago.
Whether this represents the actual end of the pursuit of Fekir remains to be seen.
The player had made it clear to his club that he wanted to depart, specifically to Liverpool.
With the World Cup now on the horizon, a cooling-off period may well yet see Lyon and Liverpool re-open discussions—unless all is not as it seems with Lyon’s statement.
They could easily be seen as saving face with their fans having been prepared to sell their captain, and it could well be Liverpool who have backed out of a deal they are not happy with every aspect of.