According to Manchester Evening News, reports linking Nabil Fekir to an Old Trafford move are nothing but a smokescreen.
The source goes on to point out that this trick has successfully been used by other clubs: the objective being to increase the transfer fee for their want-out stars.
Just like Fekir, the red half of Merseyside had long been linked to Roberto Firmino. But a fake news report regarding United’s interest in the Brazilian prompted Liverpool to meet Hoffenheim’s €41 million asking rate.
That same summer, another ‘leaked’ report by Aston Villa about United’s interest in Christian Benteke led to the Reds ponying up a fee of £32.5 million – the Belgian’s release clause.
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Obviously, Lyon are looking to drive up the asking price for Fekir. His contract lasts for only 2 more summers, and this is the time when his value has probably peaked.
Selling clubs are at a disadvantage when players have less than 2 years remaining on their contract. The French club will definitely look to maximize the bang for their buck that is Fekir.
The attacking midfielder has a release clause of £53 million in his contract. It was earlier speculated that Liverpool had come to an understanding with Lyon for a move for the aforementioned amount.
The Merseyside club, however, developed cold feet at the last moment – the cause being the 24-year-old’s checkered injury history. That might just be a negotiating tactic on their part though, given that he’s had a relatively clean bill of health over the last two seasons.
The transfer market is a game of hit-and-miss. Liverpool would hope to hit all their targets on the dartboard this summer, however.
They need to accumulate a fair amount of talent in order to challenge for a long-awaited league title, which has now been 29 years in the waiting.