Arsenal were this week said to be edging close to signing Lyon and France international Nabil Fekir. The reports claim the Gunners will submit a bid of about £60 million for the player. This news has made Arsenal fans excited, with many, including yours truly, believing the Frenchman would be an upgrade of sorts on Mesut Ozil. However, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is claiming the player is not up for sale.
Last summer Arsenal signed Alexandre Lacazette from the Ligue 1 outfit, but as Arsene Wenger and the negotiating team will confirm, getting Aulas to sanction the deal was not easy. The Lyon president is known for his notoriety when it comes to negotiating. And although on Fekir, he has stated the player is not up for sale, it could well be one of his many negotiation tactics, as I am sure even he knows there is little or nothing he can do if the player wants to leave.
Speaking to SFR Sport, Aulas was quoted as saying:
“Will Fekir be at the club after the winter transfer window? Of course.
“He is under contract [until 2020] and likes playing for Lyon very much.
“He’s enjoying a period of success football-wise, but also in terms of management as he’s the captain of a Lyon team who has got itself back on track – and that’s also thanks to him.”
Aulas even went further to confirm Nabil Fekir will remain at the club for the 2018/2019 season:
“Of course, he has a very good chance of being at Lyonnais. He’s a symbol. ‘In between times, there is the World Cup. If France makes the final and he scores the winning goal, of course he’ll get offers. But we will do everything to get Nabil to stay. And I think he wants to.” Quote via the Sun.
Tough one for Arsenal but I am still convinced Arsenal have a chance of getting him. The only reason I believe Arsenal may not get him is if the player himself doesn’t want to come or if Wenger, as usual, refuses to pay what the player is worth.
Aulas is not the type of president who will lower his asking price and if Arsenal really do want to sign the player, then they must hope there are no other clubs interested in him as a bidding war is the last thing Arsenal want, especially when Aulas is involved.