Reports: Barcelona to make shock move for €40m rated Ligue 1 star
What's the story?
Barcelona have made no secret of their desire to sign Phillipe Coutinho from Liverpool, and the Spanish club will continue their efforts to sign the Brazilian in the winter transfer window. However, Barca are aware that Liverpool will not hand over their star player without a struggle, and the club has prepared a contingency plan in the event that the move is unsuccessful.
Barcelona have kept Lyon star Nabil Fekir on their radar, and Spanish paper Marca has reported that Barcelona's sporting director Robert Fernandez personally traveled to France to watch him in Lyon's 3-0 demolishment of Everton in the Europa League. Fekir's stock is rising day-by-day as he finds the kind of form he was always touted as capable of and Barca would need to part with at least €40 million to pry him from the notoriously difficult-to-negotiate-with Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas
In case you didn't know...
Nabil Fekir has been with Lyon since 2011, and the Frenchman has gradually grown into a club icon during his tenure at t. Fekir has scored 46 goals in 129 appearances for Lyon over five seasons. He was handed the captain's armband this season after the previous skipper, Maxime Gonalons, moved to AS Roma.
The heart of the matter
The Frenchman has started the season in imperious form, scoring 11 goals from 11 Ligue 1 matches, and the Lyon captain has put in several noteworthy performances. A call-up to the French national side has only improved Fekir's chances of moving on to a bigger club.
Barcelona will have to fend off several clubs to sign Fekir, and one of their major competitors in the race for the Frenchman's signature is Arsenal. The London club has been tracking Fekir for several months, and view him as an ideal replacement for either Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil, who will in all likelihood leave Arsenal by the end of the season.
Arsenal's need for a creative attacking midfielder is much more pressing than Barcelona's, and Arsenal may offer Lyon a more lucrative deal than Barcelona can. Barcelona will ideally want to wait for Coutinho, and that may take a few weeks, during which time Arsenal is bound to make a move for the Fekir. Fekir will probably leave Lyon in the imminent future, but the circumstances will have to be just right for him to end up in Spain.