Former Liverpool target Nabil Fekir has revealed that “Jurgen Klopp told me he loved me”, before his dream Anfield move collapsed.
Fekir was seen as the ideal candidate to replace Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian completed a huge £142 million transfer to Barcelona. The Frenchman’s impressive 31 goal contributions in the 17/18 campaign for Lyon caught the attention of Klopp.
Apart from Liverpool, European giants Juventus and Barcelona were also interested in Fekir, but after a phone call with Klopp and the chance to slot in behind the club’s potent front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane made up the Frenchman’s mind. He had chosen Liverpool as his next club.
However, the move never materialised and the player is now playing for La Liga side Real Betis.
Speaking to BetisTV, Fekir recalled the failed move to Liverpool.
He said: “Everything was closed, I passed all the interviews, I spoke with Jurgen Klopp, he told me that he loved me. We all did it and, when we were about to sign, there were problems with my representative and the negotiation broke down.”
The midfielder also spoke about his disappointment in not being able to join the Reds.
Fekir added: “Of course I was disappointed not to go to Liverpool, very disappointed because Liverpool are a great club. 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.”
After the news broke that Fekir’s proposed move to Liverpool had collapsed, rumours circulated that the Frenchman failed a medical, which he strongly denied during an interview with The Times.
Fekir said: "I saw plenty of things which weren’t true.”
“It was said the knee stopped me going to Liverpool but that wasn’t true.”
“I went to Clairefontaine [France’s football centre near Paris], and they did all the proof [medical] and the knee was fine. I had a problem with my agent, my adviser. It was the agent responsible for the deal not going through.”
Since moving to Betis, the 29-year-old has made 118 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga club, scoring 22 times.
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