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"My knee is good... but Liverpool needed an excuse" - Nabil Fekir lifts lid on failed Anfield move

Nabil Fekir

Nabil Fekir has hit back at claims that his proposed move to Liverpool fell apart due to issues with his knee.

The then-Lyon forward came close to joining the Reds in a £53m deal in summer 2018, only for the transfer to collapse after the Frenchman's medical.

Liverpool (opens in new tab) reportedly tried to renegotiate the transfer fee due to concerns over Fekir's knee, which may have been related to a torn cruciate ligament he suffered in 2015/16.

However, the attacker has not suffered any recurring problems since then and passed a medical to join Real Betis this summer.

And he insists the reason for the collapsed Anfield move was nothing to do with his physical state.

"Lots of lies were told and they affected me," he told L'Equipe (opens in new tab). "Especially those told about my family. It hurt them and me. Especially when you know that's what is being told is false.

"What was said is not the truth. My knee is good - I had a quick medical check at Clairefontaine - my knee wasn't even mentioned. If my knee had been in such a bad state, would [Lyon chairman Jean-Michel] Aulas have made [an offer to keep me]?

"But the worst thing is the idea that people could suggest that it's because of my family that the transfer didn't happen. It's a lie. But you have to live with it.

"You want the truth? Even I don't know - I promise you! I did my medical and then [Liverpool] decided not to sign me. At some point they wanted to have me believe it was because of my knee - but an excuse needed to be found.

"The medical tests that I did at Clairefontaine were very clear - my knee is perfectly fine and I feel fine. There are no issues at all with my knee."

Fekir has made a fine start to his Real Betis career, scoring two goals in his first three La Liga appearances.

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Greg Lea
Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).