LONDON – French club Lyon denounced "fake news" on Friday amid reports that captain Nabil Fekir's signature for Liverpool in a £53 million ($71 million, 60 million euro) deal was imminent.
"In this period of transfers when the slightest rumour is often presented as reality, Lyon would like to underline that only information released on the club's website is reliable," the club said in a statement.
Lyon categorically denied as "fake new" media reports suggesting that a transfer would take place within hours which would bring 24-year-old Fekir to Anfield once he has finished duty for France at the World Cup in Russia.
Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas told AFP in a statement that "no deal has been done, and certainly not at the price" of 70 million euro ($82 million) given by the French sports newspaper L'Equipe. Fekir, who can play in both midfield or attack, is wanted by Liverpool to fill the creative void left by the January departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
The Merseysiders were reported to be keen to close the deal before Fekir jets off to Russia following France's final warm-up friendly against the United States in Lyon on Saturday. Fekir scored 24 goals this season to help qualify Lyon for the Champions League by finishing third in Ligue 1.