Nabil Fekir has described his much-publicised failed move to Liverpool in 2018 as a “dark moment,” blaming his former agent for the breakdown in his switch from Lyon.
Fekir was the Reds’ primary target throughout the summer transfer window three years ago, with the Frenchman earmarked as the player to replace Philippe Coutinho.
A deal worth £52.8 million was agreed with Lyon, and medical staff travelled to Clairefontaine to oversee a medical with the player while he was on international duty.
The transfer ultimately broke down with club sources citing an issue with Fekir’s knee, though in the years since it has been suggested that interference during talks over the player’s contract led Liverpool to pull out.
And in an interview with the Times this week, Fekir has reflected on the situation as a “dark moment,” insisting his “knee was fine” and “it was the agent responsible for the deal not going through.”
“Of course I was disappointed not to go to Liverpool, very disappointed because Liverpool are a great club,” he explained.
“I met the coach, Jurgen Klopp, and it went well.
“After meeting him, I wanted to join Liverpool even more. He’s a good person.
“It was really difficult to deal with as I really wanted to go to Liverpool. It was a moment that was not easy for me.”
Fekir ultimately left Lyon for Real Betis in 2019, with 12 goals and 13 assists coming from 74 appearances for the Spanish club since his £26.7 million move.
That Betis were able to pay half the price Liverpool had negotiated with Lyon came due to Fekir entering the final year of his contract, but even then, the Reds were not interested in reigniting their pursuit.
“I was sad about Liverpool but I’m OK now,” he continued.
“Betis are a family club. I was very welcomed here, and my family too. They put everything in place to make sure players feel comfortable.
“Betis are a club with a lot of history, fantastic fans.
“They play good football, play from the back, technical football, the football I love.”