The long-running transfer saga surrounding the future of Lyon’s star player Nabil Fekir has finally been resolved with the announcement of his transfer to Real Betis of La Liga in Spain. OL will receive an upfront fee of €19.75 million for the attacking midfielder, with the potential for a further €10 million in future add-ons, plus 20% of his next transfer fee.
Also included in the deal is Yassin Fekir, Nabil’s younger brother, who has made one appearance in the Lyon first team. The 22-year-old moves on a free transfer, but Lyon will receive 50% of the fee if the Spanish club ever sell him on.
Having only one year left on his contract, the asking price for the older Fekir was far lower than the €60 million fee that Liverpool were touted to be considering paying for his services last summer, before he reportedly failed a fitness test at Anfield. Despite his injury problems, he managed 29 Ligue 1 appearances for Lyon last season but failed to consistently produce his best form. Nevertheless, he still turned in some memorable performances, particularly away at Manchester City in the Champions League.
Fekir’s stock was at an all time high last summer as he followed a spectacular Ligue 1 campaign with some solid performances for the French team that won the World Cup in Russia and he was linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, but his drop in form and lingering doubts about his fitness appear to have scared off some of his suitors this time around. He was linked with a move to Napoli a few days ago, but Betis stepped in and have potentially got themselves a real bargain. If he can stay injury free and find his top form in Seville then the Spanish club have got themselves a top quality player for a cut-price fee.
The deal takes Lyon’s income from player departures to almost €135 million during this transfer window, following the earlier sales of Tanguy Ndombele to Spurs for €62 million, Ferland Mendy to Real Madrid for €48 million, Jordan Ferri to Montpellier for €2 million, Christopher Martins Pereira to Young Boys for €2 million and Elisha Owusu to La Gantoise for €1 million. Around half of that has already been reinvested in new recruits and the club haven’t ruled out making further signings before the window closes.