Liverpool find fresh confidence in sealing £60million Nabil Fekir transfer

Nabil Fekir seems set for a switch to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Liverpool are confident they will win the race to sign Lyon star Nabil Fekir after a breakthrough in talks, reports claim.

The Lyon midfielder has been heavily linked with a transfer to Anfield this summer, but is also being watched by a host of other big-spending clubs.

Lyon had previously said only a ‘very, very rich’ club could hope to secure Fekir’s signature this summer, but their stance has now softened.

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The Telegraph claim a breakthrough in the last 24 hours has encouraged Liverpool to such a degree the Reds believe they are the stand-out frontrunners.

Liverpool will accelerate talks with Lyon next week, once the small matter of the Champions League final is dealt with.

The Reds take on Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday night and Jurgen Klopp is eager to follow up that game, whatever the result may be, with a massive summer signing.

Fekir has captained Lyon this season (Picture: Getty)

Fekir is considered a direct replacement for the departed Philippe Coutinho, who left Liverpool for Barcelona in January.

The Frenchman has enjoyed a stellar season with 23 goals from midfield as well as eight assists.

Fekir has been at Lyon since he was 12 years old, but is eager to move onto a new challenge and has so far refused to pen a new deal.

(Picture: AFP)The 24-year-old’s current deal expires in 2020 and Lyon have told Liverpool a bid of £60million would be enough to complete the transfer.

Fekir has done little to dampen speculation and added more fuel to the flames on Friday when he openly admitted he would be interested in joining Liverpool.

‘Why not?’, was Fekir’s response when asked if he could sign for Liverpool this summer.

Liverpool arrived in Kiev on Thursday (Picture: UEFA)

(Picture: UEFA)Klopp sees Fekir as the perfect man to fill the midfield hole left by Coutinho and believes the inventive Ligue 1 star can help cut the gap between Liverpool and Manchester City.

Liverpool dumped City out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals stage, but were easily outperformed by the Premier League champions domestically.

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Lyon star Nabil Fekir admits he is open to Liverpool transfer

Nabil Fekir is being heavily linked with a move to Anfield (Picture: Getty)Nabil Fekir has admitted he would be interested in a switch to Liverpool if the Merseysiders bid for him this summer.

Transfer speculation has continued to swirl around the Lyon star, with some reports claiming Liverpool’s deal to bring Fekir to Anfield was ’99 per cent’ complete.

Fekir has done little to dampen speculation and it is believed the 24-year-old will fetch up to £62million for Lyon.

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Liverpool are on the hunt for a replacement for Philippe Coutinho as well as further competition in a relatively thin squad.

Fekir seems a perfect option for Jurgen Klopp and the central midfielder has now responded directly to links to Anfield.

He told RTL: ‘Why not? Later there can be discussions with the president, with my entourage, to make a decision. In life, nothing can be forbidden.’

(Picture: Getty)

(Picture: Getty)Klopp has an array of attackers to chose from in his squad, but has experienced issues in his midfield area this season.

Injuries and sales have limited the numbers in that part of the pitch for Liverpool and Klopp is aiming to bring in several new faces this summer.

Emre Can is about to depart the club for Juventus, and Klopp is eager to add further depth to his squad.

Nabil Fekir 2017/18 Stats

(Picture: Getty)Despite the rumours, Liverpool’s and Klopp’s focus will be firmly fixed on the Champions League final on Saturday.

Liverpool take on Real Madrid in Kiev hoping to claim their first European Cup since 2005.

The Reds are the heavy underdogs for the clash, as Real are gunning to win their third Champions League trophy in a row.

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Simon Mignolet ‘not thinking’ of Liverpool future beyond Champions League final

Mignolet is likely to have a watching brief when Liverpool face Real Madrid. (Picture: Getty Images)Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will not allow uncertainty over his future to overshadow the upcoming Champions League final against Real Madrid despite his Anfield career looking bleak.

The Belgium international has not played for the Reds since the FA Cup loss to West Bromwich Albion in December, with Loris Karius installed as number one by Jurgen Klopp.

And with the Liverpool boss showing no sign of reversing his decision and speculation intensifying over a possible move for Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Mignolet is set to remain on the peripheral.

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But the 30-year-old, who will again be on the bench when Liverpool face Real in Kiev this weekend, does not want talk over his immediate plans to eclipse this weekend’s game.

‘No individual is bigger than the team, especially when you have the final of the Champions League to play,’ he said.

‘Even more so you have to play the part the club, the players and supporters need because in the end if you play for a trophy like that any individual is not important.

‘[My future] that’s not really something I am thinking of. I have three years of a contract. There will be a lot of speculation about my name because I am not playing but I am not really thinking about it.’

Mignolet’s campaign began encouragingly – with a penalty save against Hoffenheim.Mignolet had begun the campaign in possession of the number one jersey, starting 19 of the club’s first 22 Premier League fixtures, with Karius’ opportunities restricted to the Champions League group stage during the first half of the campaign.

He did however start both legs of the Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim, saving a penalty in the first leg from Andrej Kramaric before the Merseysiders claimed a 6-3 aggregate win to progress.

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And having played a major part in Liverpool eventually reaching the final – he started 28 times in the Premier League as Liverpool finished in the top four last season – Mignolet is naturally frustrated that he no longer has a leading role to play.

‘I try to be as part of it as much as I can,’ he added. ‘There are times when there are frustrating moments because of what has been before, not only that game against Hoffenheim away but also here at home and the whole campaign (last season) before to get into the Champions League.

‘We had to work really hard for that, just as this year, until the last game of the season to grab fourth spot.

‘We still had to play a qualifier to get into it and then you know what you have done. Because you have such a good dressing room everyone feels together and there is a real togetherness in the squad which helps a lot.’

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Jurgen Klopp drops major hint over Liverpool’s deal to sign Nabil Fekir

Nabil Fekir is on Liverpool’s radar. (Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp has indicated that Liverpool are ready to make their move for Nabil Fekir after insisting his side need ‘more quality’ and are looking to replace Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool’s midfield will already be bolstered by the arrival of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig this summer, but the Champions League finalists are still in the market for further reinforcements.

Reports in France claim that Liverpool are in the driving seat to sign Fekir and are prepared to pay £60 million for the Lyon midfielder.

And Klopp has suggested that he is looking to sign a replacement for Coutinho as he wants an attacking midfielder to support his trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

‘We need more quality,’ Klopp said in an interview with the Daily Mirror.

Fekir has impressed for Lyon this season. (Getty Images)More: Football

‘What do we do? We brought in Naby Keita already, an outstanding player.

‘We will bring in a couple more players, that will happen.

NABIL FEKIR 2017-18 STATS

MINS PLAYED: 3141

GOALS: 23

ASSISTS: 9

‘We played without Adam Lallana and half a season without Philippe Coutinho. Two of the best players in whole Premier League.

‘They didn’t play on the pitch for us.

‘Can you imagine Phil Coutinho still in the team? And we play with the three up front and Phil at No.8, that would have been nice.’

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Timo Werner sends direct transfer message to Liverpool ahead of World Cup

Timo Werner has been linked with a move to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Timo Werner has denied that he views the World Cup as a chance to ‘audition’ for the likes of Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The 22-year-old striker has scored 42 goals in 77 games for Leipzig since joining the club in 2016 and hopes to lead the line for Germany in Russia this summer.

Werner’s barnstorming form for both club and country has seen him linked with a possible big-money move ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

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However, the young forward insists he’s happy at Leipzig amid the growing interest from Europe’s elite clubs.

‘The World Cup is not about auditioning for Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Liverpool or whoever,’ he told Socrates magazine.

Timo Werner is hoping for a massive summer with Germany (Picture: Getty)‘I want to become world champion and then I want to attack again with RB Leipzig.

‘I’m not dealing with any thoughts of making a change.’

The attacker is tied into a deal at Leipzig until the summer of 2020.

The German is keen to stay on at Leipzig (Picture: Getty)Werner admitted back in March that he wants to wait until he’s ready before securing a ‘dream’ move to the Premier League.

‘Yes, playing in the Premier League is a dream for me,’ he told FourFourTwo.

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‘I would like to play for two or three clubs, and Manchester United are one of those clubs.

‘But probably not in the next few years – later, when my English is a little bit better! I’m very comfortable at RB Leipzig, though.’

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Victor Wanyama breaks silence on Manchester United and Liverpool transfer talk

Wanyama only made eight league starts last season but did feature in victory over United. (Picture: Getty Images)Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama has no plans to leave the club despite links with Liverpool and Manchester United.

The 26-year-old missed large swathes of last season with a knee problem but upon his return in January made just seven Premier League starts during the second half of the campaign.

As a result, Champions League finalists Liverpool and Premier League and FA Cup runners-up United have both been linked with a move for the Kenya international, according to The Daily Mail, and he could be available for around £40m.

Mourinho has been linked with a move for him (Picture: Getty)But Wanyama has dismissed such speculation and aims to come back stronger next season after an injury-ravaged term.

‘I don’t respond to rumours and all those are rumours to me, I still have a contract with Spurs and that is what I want to see through’ Wanyama told Goal.

‘I did not have a good season with the team because of injury and my aim now is to work hard during this break and return for next season even stronger and help them perform even better.

‘I am happy at Tottenham and I am committed to the team. I am not aware of anything [regarding a move away] and I am very fine and happy where I am.’

Since moving to north London from Southampton in 2016, Wanyama has made 71 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham but is yet to nail down a regular first team place under Mauricio Pochettino.

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Liverpool midfielder Emre Can to take step towards Juventus move after Champions League final

Can is just days away from all-but sealing his move away from Liverpool.Liverpool midfielder Emre Can will travel to Italy just days after the Champions League final against Real Madrid for a medical ahead of his much-anticipated move to Juventus, according to reports.

The front-page of Tuttosport on Wednesday leads with the story that Can is expected in Turin next week to complete a much-anticipated move to the Serie A champions.

He is expected to sign a five-year deal worth between €6m and €7m a year, making him the club’s second best paid player behind Gonzalo Higuain.

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Juve expect the examination at their J-Medical headquarters to be a mere formality having monitored the fitness of the Germany international, who has not played since mid-March due to a back problem.

Can, 24, trained on Monday however ahead of Liverpool facing Real in Kiev and Juventus officials are confident the injury is not severe having already conducted their own tests.

Jurgen Klopp has not ruled out Can featuring in the final this weekend despite his impending departure to Juventus, after five months of talks between his representatives and Massimiliano Allegri’s side.

Emre Can is on the verge of completing his move to Juventus from Liverpool (Picture: Tuttosport)The ex-Bayer Leverkusen star is understood to have been subject to interest from Real, while former club Bayern Munich and Premier League champions Manchester City have also shown an interest.

But the prospect of being a central figure at the Juventus Stadium was too good an opportunity to turn down.

Fellow German Sami Khedira is said to have played a central role in convincing Can to move to Serie A after speaking in glowing terms regarding the club’s winning mentality.

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It remains to be seen whether Can will start the latest chapter in his fledgling career as a European champion as Klopp deliberates over whether to include him in his matchday squad.

Amid intense speculation regarding his future, Can has not played for Liverpool since the 5-0 win over Watford on 17 March but his return to fitness means he is in contention to play in the showcase final.

Having made six appearances in the competition for Liverpool, Can would be eligible for a medal if the Reds do indeed prevail in the Ukrainian capital.

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Zinedine Zidane reveals if he’d swap Cristiano Ronaldo for Real target Mohamed Salah

Is Ronaldo better than Salah? (Picture: Soccrates/Getty Images)Zinedine Zidane would not entertain talk of swapping Cristiano Ronaldo for Mohamed Salah, despite the latter being linked with a summer move to Real Madrid.

The former World Cup winner is looking to mastermind a third consecutive Champions League win as Real manager, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool standing in his way.

When the two sides collide on Saturday in Kiev, two of world football’s biggest stars this season will go head-to-head in what promises to be a fabulous final.

Salah has enjoyed a remarkable debut season with his new club in the Premier League, scoring 43 goals in all competitions for the Reds.

Ronaldo, who has won five Ballon d’Ors, banged in 41 goals, including a stunning 15 in the Champions League.

Salah has been linked with Real Madrid (Picture: CameraSport via Getty)

Zidane would keep CR7 (Picture: AP)Despite being 33, he remains Real Madrid’s talisman and Zidane insists that he would not let the Portuguese leave in exchange for the Egyptian.

When asked if he would swap Ronaldo for Salah, he replied: ‘No, I have Cristiano and I talk about my players.’

Zidane also rubbished suggestions that Liverpool would be more determined to succeed.

When asked if Klopp’s men are more hungry, he responded: ‘I can’t tell you about the opponent. I don’t know what they are.

‘What I can say is that we will have the same desire as always. This club is what it is: the same enthusiasm, dedication and desire as always. And nobody can take that away or tell us that we are less hungry than others. No-one.

‘We are Madrid and this club is what it is. We always want more and we will give everything to try to do it in the best way.’

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Arsenal close to signing Barcelona wonderkid Joel Lopez

Joel Lopez is set to join Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of completing a deal for Barcelona youngster Joel Lopez.

Lopez, 15, has been with Barcelona since the age of seven but the promising full-back is set to secure a switch to the Emirates this summer.

Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal’s head of football relations, joined from Barca at the beginning of the year and it’s believed the Spaniard has been behind the move for Lopez.

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According to Goal, Liverpool were also interested in landing Lopez but Sanllehi persuaded the teenager to choose north London.

Barcelona offered Lopez a contract but young defender rejected it and has set his sights on England.

Raul Sanllehi (left) has been behind Arsenal’s bid to sign Joel Lopez (Picture: Getty)

Hector Bellerin joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2011 (Picture: Getty)The highly-rated Lopez will initially join the Gunners on schoolboy terms before putting pen to paper on a professional deal when he turns 16 next year.

Hector Bellerin joined Arsenal from Barcelona as a 16-year-old back in 2011 and the right-back has gone on to make 162 appearances for the club.

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Lopez will hope to make a similar impact should he complete a move to Arsenal in the coming weeks.

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Lyon president sends warning to Liverpool over Nabil Fekir transfer

Nabil Fekir has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Liverpool have been sent a warning by the Lyon president as they continue to be heavily linked with a summer move for Nabil Fekir.

Fekir, 24, has emerged as a top target for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and recent reports claimed a deal to bring him to Anfield was close to completion.

But Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas says ‘nothing is done’ and has told Liverpool they must be prepared to break the bank to secure a deal.

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France international Fekir has enjoyed a stunning season in Ligue 1, scoring 23 goals and providing nine assists in all competitions.

‘There has been no contact with Liverpool or any other club so we haven’t discussed the future,’ Aulas told SFR Sport.

‘I know that Nabil, now that we have qualified for the Champions League, would really like to stay, so we will discuss things calmly.

Jurgen Klopp wants to strike a deal with Lyon for the Frenchman (Picture: Getty)