Chelsea given chance to sign Nabil Fekir ahead of Liverpool

Nabil Fekir has been reportedly offered to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals. (Getty Images)Lyon have offered Chelsea the chance to sign Nabil Fekir ahead of Liverpool, according to reports.

The France international came close to completing a £53 million switch to Anfield only for the deal to be called off last week.

Fekir had agreed personal terms and had even chosen his squad number but Liverpool opted to pull out of the deal after concerns were raised about the midfielder’s right knee, which was operated on twice inside the space of a year due to a cruciate ligament rupture.

According to The Sun, Lyon remain open to selling Fekir but have raised the player’s asking price to £66m.

The report also claims that Fekir has been offered to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals after they pulled out of the move.

Fekir’s valuation has rise to £66m. (AMA/Getty Images)More: Football

Last week, L’Equipe claimed that were not completely satisfied with the results of his medical and attempted to renegotiate Fekir’s valuation with Lyon.

The midfielder required surgery after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in September 2015 and he needed a second operation on the same knee nearly a year later.

Fekir made 40 appearances for Lyon last season, scoring 23 goals and registering eight assists.

The 24-year-old came on as a second-half substitute in France’s 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday.

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World Cup fans celebrate BBC decision to mute Phil Neville’s view on VAR after France beat Australia

Joshua Risdon’s foul on Antoine Griezmann resulted in a penalty for France (Picture: Getty)Football fans celebrated the BBC’s ‘decision’ to mute Phil Neville with the former Manchester United defender ready to launch into a rant against VAR.

The controversial system helped award France the penalty which broke the deadlock in Saturday’s Group C opening game between France and Australia.

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Referee Andres Cunha’s original decision not to penalise Joshua Risdon for a foul on Antoine Griezmann was overturned and the Atletico Madrid forward converted the resulting penalty.

Mile Jedinak drew the Socceroos level almost immediately afterwards with a spot kick of his own, before Paul Pogba stole the win for an underwhelming France side with a deflected lob 10 minutes from full time.

VAR correctly awarded a penalty to France (Picture: Getty)

Paul Pogba scored France’s winning goal with 10 minutes remaining (Picture: Getty)Afterwards, Neville, now the manager of the England women’s national team, was asked for his opinion on VAR but was cut short after declaring he ‘wasn’t a fan’ of the system, despite its implementation resulting in a correct decision.

Having been subjected to the complaints of co-commentator Mark Lawrenson for 90 minutes it came as blessed relief for most onlookers when the screen went blank with Neville in full Luddite mode…

Phil Neville’s analysis of VAR is the worst thing I’ve ever heard
— Shane (@shanewalters91) June 16, 2018

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Lazio demand £35million from Liverpool for Thomas Strakosha transfer

Thomas Strakosha is wanted by Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Liverpool have been told Thomas Strakosha will cost £35million, according to reports in Italy.

The Reds have had to rethink their goalkeeping targets this summer after baulking at Roma’s asking price for Alisson.

Liverpool had been hoping to seal a deal for Alisson, but the Brazil No.1 now seems set to join Real Madrid instead.

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Jurgen Klopp has now moved on to other targets and Lazio stopper Strakosha has shot to the top of the list.

Sport Italia claim Liverpool have made contract with Lazio and their interest in the Albanian is serious.

Lazio has responded to Liverpool enquiry, and are demanding £35m.

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The Italians hope such an asking price will scare Liverpool off as they do not want to sell Strakosha.

However, if Liverpool were to return with an offer of £35m or higher, Lazio would be forced to accept.

Liverpool’s search for a new goalkeeper marks another summer of upheaval between the sticks at Anfield.

Lazio want £35million for their goalkeeper (Picture: Getty)

(Picture: Getty)

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Loris Karius signed from Mainz in the summer of 2016, but has failed to prove himself a much better option than Simon Mignolet.

The German endured a nightmare Champions League final with two costly errors that effectively handed Real the trophy.

Although Karius will be given time to recover by Liverpool, Klopp is still eager to acquire a new stopper.

(Picture: Getty)

Strakosha is just 23 (Picture: Getty)Liverpool have already done some excellent business in the current window, with the signing of Fabinho and Naby Keita soon to be a Liverpool player.

The Reds were on the verge of signing France international Nabil Fekir, but pulled out of the deal due to concerns over a past knee injury.

However, Liverpool could still move for Fekir if Lyon agree to re-structure the transfer fee to reflect the midfielder’s injury risk.

MORE: Liverpool target Alisson agrees personal terms with Real Madrid as transfer looms

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Liverpool target Alisson agrees personal terms with Real Madrid as transfer looms

The Brazilian No.1 looks set to leave Roma for the Bernabeu (Picture: AFP)Liverpool look set to miss out on No.1 goalkeeper target Alisson after he agreed personal terms with Real Madrid, according to reports in Italy.

The Merseysiders have been in the market for a new shot-stopper following Loris Karius’ howlers in the Champions League final, while winners Real also want to upgrade on Keylor Navas.

Brazil and Roma keeper Alisson was identified by both clubs as their first-choice goalkeeper signing, and there had even been suggestions in Brazil that Liverpool had offered him a contract.

Florentino Perez joked that Liverpool were welcome to Alisson, but has secretly stepped up his pursuit (Getty)But now Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Real are winning the race for Alisson after the 25-year-old agreed to the terms offered by the Spanish giants.

It is claimed that, since making an opening offer of £44million plus bonuses which was rejected by Roma, Liverpool have yet to come back with a follow-up offer.

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That has allowed Real to jump in, negotiating a contract with Alisson’s entourage while making an initial offer of £48m to Roma – though the Italian side are hoping to receive closer to £70m.

Although the two clubs are someway apart in their valuation, Real are now expected to accelerate their pursuit of the Brazilian and there is growing optimism that a £52m bid, plus bonuses, could be accepted next week.

Alisson will start ahead of Man City star Ederson for Brazil at the World Cup (Picture: Getty)Although Real president Florentino Perez quipped that, for £70m, ‘Liverpool can buy [Alisson]’, he is keen to try and wrap up a deal.

Other goalkeeper target David de Gea looks set to sign a contract extension with Manchester United, ruling out a possible transfer, while Chelsea rejected Real’s informal approach for Thibaut Courtois.

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Liverpool facing competition from four clubs to sign Hakim Ziyech

All ayes will be on Ziyech this summer at the World Cup. (Picture: Getty Images)Liverpool’s pursuit of Hakim Ziyech has been complicated by four rival clubs declaring an interest in the Ajax star, reports claim.

Ziyech is currently at the World Cup with Morocco and is likely to play a central role to the Atlas Lions’ hopes of progressing from a group including Portugal, Spain and Iran.

The 25-year-old will have an ideal opportunity to impress this summer in Russia, though he already has plenty of suitors across Europe.

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Champions League runners-up Liverpool have already been noted with having an interest as they continue to pursue a long-term replacement for Philippe Coutinho.

A complication during Nabil Fekir’s medical saw a move for the Lyon man collapse at the 11th hour and it leaves Jurgen Klopp seeking a creative player.

But those attempts have been complicated after reports from Portugal claimed a clutch of sides also have designs on signing Ziyech.

Newspaper Correio da Manha say Benfica, Roma, Lyon and Borrussia Dortmund are all monitoring the former Heerenveen and FC Twente star.

One factor in the growing number of interested clubs is Ziyech’s €20m release clause and Ajax’s willingness to part with the playmaker for less than that fee.

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That development will likely pique the interest of many clubs across the continent, particularly should he impress while playing for his country this summer.

After playing a key role in Ajax reaching the 2017 Europa League final where they lost to Manchester United, Ziyech notched nine goals and 18 assists in 39 appearances across all competitions last term.

No player created more goals in the Dutch top flight last season than Ziyech, who has spent his entire professional career in the Netherlands, and he could be the latest in a long line of players to leave Eredivisie for a new challenge.

Why Liverpool star Mohamed Salah missed Egypt vs Uruguay

Mohamed Salah was an unused substitute in Egypt’s defeat against Uruguay (Picture: Getty)Egypt coach Hector Cuper insists he made the right decision in leaving Mohamed Salah out of the firing line during Friday’s World Cup clash with Uruguay.

Salah appeared set to make his comeback following the shoulder injury which cut short his involvement in last month’s Champions League final but was named on the substitutes’ bench and remained there for the full 90 minutes.

It was a decision that appeared destined to be vindicated until Jose Gimenez late header secured an undeserved win for the South Americans.

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‘Perhaps if Mo had been on the pitch today, the outcome would have been different but we can’t know that,’ Cuper admitted.

Jose Gimenez scored Uruguay’s late winning goal against Egypt (Picture: Getty)Egypt had said prior to the match that Salah was ‘nearly 100% likely’ to face Uruguay, but Cuper revealed he did not want to risk his talisman suffering a setback against the notoriously physical South Americans

‘At the end of the training session we examined him and there was some doubt if he fell or was hit by another player, and we wanted to avoid a risk today.

‘We want to have him in top form for Russia and Saudi Arabia.’

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Mohamed Salah reaction sums up Egypt’s World Cup heartache

Mohamed Salah was an unused substitute in Egypt’s defeat against Uruguay (Picture: BBC)Egypt were within touching distance of recording their first World Cup point in 28 years before Jose Gimenez’s late header stole an undeserved victory for Uruguay.

A largely forgettable match appeared destined to end in a stalemate as the underdogs largely kept an all-star attack, spearheaded by Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, at by for 89 minutes.

But one moment of slack defending cost Hector Cuper’s side, as Atletico Madrid centre-half Gimenez rose to power home Carlos Sanchez’s perfectly flighted free kick.

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Cuper had hinted before the game that star man Mohamed Salah was ready to play some part in the game, with the Liverpool forward having recovered sufficiently from the shoulder injury which cut short his involvement in last month’s Champions League final.

Birthday boy Salah, who turned 26 on Friday, was left on the bench for the duration of the match, however, a decision which appeared destined to be vindicated with less than a minute left on the clock.

Uruguay celebrate their winning goal, scored by Jose Gimenez (Picture: Getty)As the cameras cut away from the jubilant Uruguayans, Salah was caught ruefully shaking his head in disbelief.

Having already made three substitutions, Cuper was unable to call upon the Liverpool forward who scored an astonishing 34 goals in all competitions last season.

Egypt and Salah will hope to get their World Cup campaign back on track on Tuesday against hosts Russia before their final Group A match against Saudi Arabia the following week.

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Mohamed Salah expresses injury concern in tunnel ahead of Egypt’s clash with Uruguay

Mohamed Salah started on the bench for Egypt against Uruguay (Picture: Getty)Mohamed Salah appeared to express concern over his shoulder injury in the moments leading up to Egypt’s clash with Uruguay.

Reports suggested that Salah could be in line to start against Uruguay but the Liverpool forward had to settle for a place on the bench for Egypt’s World Cup opener on Friday afternoon.

Salah was a serious doubt for the beginning of the tournament after he sustained a shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

The attacker was hauled to the ground by Sergio Ramos and it appears he is still feeling the effects of the challenge a few weeks on.

As Egypt’s players were making their way onto the field, Salah pointed towards his shoulder when approached by a mascot in the tunnel.

Speaking ahead of the clash with Uruguay, Egypt boss Hector Cuper claimed: ‘Salah is doing very well indeed, he’s recovered very quickly

‘We’ll see how it goes today. I can almost assure you 100% he will play, barring any unforeseen factors at the last moment.

‘We’re trying to make him feel confident. The doctors are giving him the options to play or not.

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‘I know Salah very well, he’s not fearful. We always know we’re running a risk when playing a match, that’s something we can’t hide [from].

‘But if he does decide to play he’ll have full guarantees on his physical condition and I’m sure he will be fine.

‘And if it does turn out there’s an issue at the last minute we’ll consider it and see if it can be resolved.’

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MORE: Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan keen on Barcelona transfer

Jose Mourinho sends warning to Russia over Egypt star Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah is expected to be available when Egypt face Russia (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho has warned Russia’s players to be wary of the threat of ‘one of the fastest players in the world’ Mohamed Salah.

Russia kicked off the World Cup with an impressive 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in Group A but the hosts will come up against stiffer competition in Egypt on Tuesday evening.

Egypt’s talisman Salah was a serious doubt for the start of the tournament following his shoulder injury in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

However, the forward starts on the bench for Egypt’s opening match with Uruguay and should be primed for the clash with Russia at the Krestovsky Stadium.

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Asked about Russia’s chances versus Egypt, Mourinho told RT: ‘Egypt has – I don’t want to say the fastest – but I have to say one of fastest players in the world.

With the ball and without the ball he can dribble and he can attack spaces behind defenders.

‘I think Russia they have to drop the block back and they have to react better when they lose the ball because they concede a little bit against a very naive team [Saudi Arabia], a team without any physical power.

‘Egypt can hurt them. It might sound like a contradiction but I don’t think Russia can score many goals… and I’m saying this after a 5-0.

‘But I don’t think they can score many goals against good teams so I think they cannot concede many goals if they want to get good results.

‘For me, the game against Egypt is the crucial match of the group. If not, they need to go to the last match against Uruguay searching for points.’

Aleksandr Golovin was Russia’s standout player in Moscow (Picture: Getty)Mourinho was particularly impressed with Aleksandr Golovin’s performance for Russia against Saudi Arabia.

‘The manager changed the team in relation to the match I watched in Austria. He played with a back four, which is normal against a team like Saudi,’ he said after Russia’s win.

‘I think Alan Dzagoev was playing quite well but when he came out, the fact that Golovin could go to a more central position, I think it helped the team.

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‘The team became better. Golovin is a playmaker, he’s a player that gives the dynamic of the team.

‘Denis Cheryshev is a fast boy on the wing, more of a winger than Golovin, stretch the game more than Golovin, so I think the change worked perfectly.’

MORE: Manchester United target Aleksandr Golovin flattered by Juventus interest

Liverpool and Chelsea target Porto defender Alex Telles in £35million transfer

Alex Telles is wanted by a host of big clubs (Picture: Getty)Liverpool is keen on a move for Porto defender Alex Telles, reports say.

The Porto left-back is thought to have a £35million release clause in the contract and has attracted the attention of several big clubs this summer.

Telles won the Primeira Liga with Porto last season and provided an amazing 14 assists from defence during the title winning campaign.

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The 25-year-old added another six assists in appearances in other competitions and managed four goals as well in 45 appearances.

Le Parisien claim Jurgen Klopp wants to sign the defender, who is also being monitored by Chelsea.

The Blues have been watching Telles since January and were considering triggering the Brazilian’s release clause.

Chelsea and Liverpool are looking at Telles (Picture: Getty)

Telles laid on 20 assists for his team-mates last season (Picture: Getty)Paris Saint-Germain are also thought to be interested in Telles, and after Liverpool joined the race a bidding war could erupt for the full-back.

Klopp wants to bring in some genuine competition for Andrew Robertson, with the expectation that Alberto Moreno will be sold this summer.

Moreno lost his spot to Robertson when he was forced to sit out December and January due to injury.

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Liverpool are set to offload Alberto Moreno (Picture: Getty)

(Picture: Getty)Robertson is now firmly Liverpool’s No.1 left-back and Klopp is eager to bring in a defender that can challenge the Scotland international.

Chelsea are pushing forward with transfer plans despite the uncertainty surrounding Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.

Conte is expected to be sacked at some point this summer, but Chelsea are stalling as they search for a new head coach.

There is also the issue of Conte’s compensation package, which will be around £9m should the Italian be fired.

MORE: Napoli finally agree to let Maurizio Sarri join Chelsea but insist on ‘gentleman’s agreement’ over transfers

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