Nabil Fekir recalls chat with Jurgen Klopp moments before Liverpool transfer collapsed
After interviewing with the club, having a fee agreed with then team Lyon and even chatting to Klopp, Fekir’s proposed deal fell through.
The French attacker opened up about his failed transfer to Liverpool as speculation mounts he could be making a January move to Saudi-backed Newcastle United.
Talking about the move that never quite happened in an interview with BetisTV and Moveistar+, he said: “Everything was closed.
"I passed all the interviews, I spoke with Jürgen 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.
“They said it was because I had knee problems, but the truth has been proven over time. My knee is super good.”
The Reds had been keen on signing Fekir and had reportedly even completed a medical before the deal fell apart.
A number of reasons were given at the time, including concerns over Fekir’s knee, his agent making more demands and Liverpool trying to get a lower fee from Lyon.
One year later Fekir would move to Real Betis where he currently plays, but just weeks after arriving in Seville he admitted he was disappointed he had not been able to complete his move to Merseyside and said an “incredible amount of lies” were told over the deal’s failure to go through.
The French international has been playing well this season under ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pelligrini.
Fekir would not have been a like-for-like replacement of Phillipe Coutinho, who left Anfield around a similar time, but might have been intended to help plug the gap left by the Brazilian.
As it turns out, Liverpool did not need to do so.
But the Real Betis star is now being linked with Newcastle after their Saudi takeover.
The Magpies are now the richest club in the world after Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley sold them to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.
When asked about the reports, Fekir distanced himself from the rumours but refused to rule out a move.
He said: “I don’t think about the offers. I am very happy here. I am learning every day and I hope it can continue like this.
“The fans love me, it gives me a lot of joy and I want to give it back to them on the pitch.
"You never know in football, but the truth is that now I don’t think about offers. I’m at Betis and I’m very happy here."
Fekir is the latest in a long list of players to be linked to Newcastle since their takeover, he is on a list that includes Anthony Martial and Timo Werner as well.