It looks like Nabil Fekir will not be a Liverpool player after all.
Reports on Friday suggested that the Reds had finally made a breakthrough with Lyon, with a £53m fee agreed and a medical scheduled.
Fekir eventually passed his medical – although there was some doubt about his right knee – with everything barring the official announcement seemingly complete.
Then on Saturday evening, Lyon dropped a bombshell – which you can read here – stating that all negotiations with Liverpool and Fekir had been ended.
A brutal blow, with Lyon a notoriously hard side to negotiate with.
Arsenal found it difficult last summer with Alexandre Lacazette, while Chelsea had issues when signing Florent Malouda back in 2007.
And the man behind Lyon’s stubbornness? Their president Jean-Michel Aulas.
He runs the club pretty ruthlessly and after Lyon posted their statement on their official social media channels, Aulas did something you don’t really see from many football club presidents.
Aulas replied to the original statement on his personal Twitter account, you know, just to rub salt into the wounds of Liverpool fans.
— Jean-Michel AULAS (@JM_Aulas) June 9, 2018
Translated, the tweet reads: “We love you Nabil, come on France, come on Lyon!”
We advise you not to look at the replies to the tweet because the word ‘anger’ doesn’t do them justice.
While Lyon appear to have kept hold of their talisman, you have to wonder what state Fekir’s mind is in right now.
The 24-year-old was said to have rejected Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich in favour of a ‘dream move’ to Anfield, with the late cancellation surely not sitting well in his camp.
Aulas can send his love on Twitter, but right now, Fekir probably feels the exact opposite. Still, at least he has the World Cup to look forward to.