Nabil Fekir was part of France’s World Cup winning squad and prior to their trip to Russia last summer, the 26-year-old drew serious attention from Liverpool after impressing for Lyon in the 2017/18 campaign.
The Reds and the Ligue 1 club agreed a deal and Jurgen Klopp’s side even conducted the attacking midfielder’s medical at France’s national team base in Clairefontaine.
Multiple reports at that time suggested the Champions League winners tried to lower the price tag after his medical, which is why Lyon pulled the plug for the deal.
Fekir struggled last season as he failed to replicate his fine form before the World Cup. He moved to Real Betis in the summer transfer window for a fee much lower than many will have expected.
L’Equipe sat down for an interview with the player and asked if a drop in his performance was down to his failed move to Liverpool.
He said, “We were coming out of an exceptional year, where we were crowned world champions. I came back a little late, early August, just before the championship. I was a dad a second time. It was a different season.”
“There was a lot of things. But it’s not really due to the failed transfer [to Liverpool], because it’s part of life. It was written like that.
“I tried not to pay attention to it. Then, yes, it was necessarily affecting my mind… Even though it was unconscious and I kept telling myself that it was part of destiny.
“But that is not the reason for my average season. Today, I still think about it. But without any regret.”
One of the reasons cited for his failed transfer to Liverpool was issues with his knee and a few reports claimed his family blocked the move by asking for more money.
“Everything that has been said about my family in particular. It hurt them, as it hurt me… Especially when you know that what was broadcast was wrong.
“But when you are a good person in life, you always end up being happy and calm. And I am happy and calm today. Others are not well. We will not go into the details.”
Fekir has enjoyed a good start to his Betis career, scoring two goals in the first three league games.