Liverpool News: Nabil Fekir says Reds used false failed medical claims to back out of signing him in 2018
What's the story?
Real Betis midfielder Nabil Fekir has opened up about his failed move to Liverpool back when he was plying his trade at Lyon in 2018, suggesting that the Merseyside club falsely used the failed medical plot as an excuse to back out of the transfer.
In case you didn't know...
The summer of 2018 saw Fekir become a World Cup winner with France and things appeared to fall into place as he looked poised to make a switch to Liverpool.
The Premier League giants agreed to pay £53 million for Fekir's services and even sent their medical team to France to carry out a medical examination. The midfielder was soon pictured in Liverpool colours and even conducted an interview with the club’s official channel.
The Reds ultimately decided to back out of the deal after the medical flagged an underlying problem with his knee. A cruciate ligament rupture meant the player required two operations on his right knee in the span of just 12 months.
The France international did, however, seal a move away from his boyhood club when he completed a £22 million switch to Real Betis this summer.
The heart of the matter
Fekir claims that he is still unaware of the true reasons behind the transfer collapse with Liverpool, claiming that he didn’t have any issue with his knee.
"Lots of lies were told and they affected me. Especially those told about my family. It hurt them and me. Especially when you know that’s what being told is false.
"What was said is not the truth. My knee is good, I had a quick medical check at Clairefontaine, my knee wasn’t even mentioned. If my knee had been in such a bad state, would [Jean-Michel] Aulas have made [an offer to keep me]? But the worst thing is the idea that people could suggest that it’s because of my family that the transfer didn’t happen. It’s a lie. But you have to live with it.
"You want the truth? Even I don’t know, I promise you! I did my medical and then [Liverpool] decided not to sign me. At some point they wanted to have me believe it was because of my knee but an excuse needed to be found. The medical tests that I did at Clairefontaine were very clear, my knee is perfectly fine and I feel fine. There are no issues at all with my knee.
"But I have no bitterness towards Liverpool. I met them and we got on brilliantly. They showed that they really wanted me. But when you surround yourself with the wrong people, it comes off badly on you."
When asked if he was referring to his former agent Jean-Pierre Bernes, he replied,
"Maybe. But like I said, it’s fate. But it’s not normal to be kept informed of negotiations. My family is discreet and it’s not nice to try to split a family. It was a dark moment in my career.
"If you don’t have anything good to say about someone, it’s best to stay quiet. Otherwise I’ll say things I’ll regret. That’s not how I was brought up. He [Bernes] knows where he stands. We have no contact today and I don’t want any."
Real Betis will return to action when they face Getafe in La Liga on Sunday.