Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed that he will treat with star forward Nabil Fekir in a bid to stop him leaving the club this summer.
The attacking-midfielder’s form in Ligue 1 has captured the attention of the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and English giants Arsenal, and with the 21-year-old currently operating on a contract that sees him earn a relatively poultry €300,000-a-year, there’s certainly scope for Lyon fans to be worried about losing a player who has become a vital component.
As relayed by French daily Le 10 Sport, Aulas is keen to nip such fears in the bud before panic takes over, and though his player’s current deal doesn’t expire until 2019, the Lyon chairman made it clear that he had a strategy to retain Fekir’s services without offering him a completely new contract.
“I do not want to extend it [Fekir’s contract] because he is under contract until 2019, but positively update the terms of his contract," Aulas said.
"I do not want to extend it [Fekir’s contract] because he is under contract until 2019, but positively update the terms of his contract"
As things stand Arsenal are the club who have been most hotly linked with Fekir’s services. Compatriot Arsene Wenger is known for his fondness of scouring his home nation for rising talents, and if there’s any chance he can land the Lyon hot-shot for a low figure come the summer you can be sure he will attempt to create a deal.
Whether or not he will be successful in his endeavours could be up the player himself, with Fekir of course having the option to snub any new terms Aulas waves under his nose.
At Lyon he’s afforded pride of place in the starting XI and has posted healthy scoring stats this term - he has 9 goals in 22 Ligue 1 appearances - but if he wants to really step up his game then a move abroad may just be the key.
Ligue 1 talents in England
The likes of Eden Hazard and Samir Nasri have proven that the transition from Ligue 1 to the faster-paced Premier League is one that can be made successfully, though players like Marouane Chamakh and Yaya Sanogo, both of whom impressed in France’s elite division, provide testament that not all who make the move across the Channel will prosper.
As far as Fekir stands though one would have to assume that he has the ability to do well in England if Wenger introduces him slowly and gives him time to adapt. The youngster has shown at various stages this campaign that he has the talent to unlock tricky defences, and the introduction of the diminutive playmaker, who could very well earn his first senior cap for France soon, would give the Gunners yet another potent option moving forward.
Arsenal fans, would you like to see Fekir - or players of a similar mould - purchased in the summer? Let us know your thoughts below...